WHAT IS THE MYSTERY OF A PILGRIMAGE/TIRTHA?PART-02
DO THE SECRET PLACES HAVE THEIR METHODS TO ENTETR THEM ?-
1-The pyramids of Egypt are tirthas of some old, lost civilization. One interesting fact about the pyramids is that there is complete darkness inside. Scientists think that it is not likely that electricity existed when the pyramids were built - some were constructed ten thousand years ago and others twenty thousand years ago. It is possible that people entered them with the help of burning torches, but there are no signs of smoke anywhere on the walls or ceilings of the pyramids. The paths within the pyramids are very long, with many twists and turns, and along them it is very dark.
2-Torches burning oil or ghee would have left some signs of smoke. So a .
problem arises as to how people went inside.There are many paths, staircases, doors and internal windows and also places for people to sit or stand about. But what was all this for? This has remained an unsolved puzzle. Some people guess that the pyramids were a whim of some emperor or king.
3-The most plausible explanation is that they were tirthas. When someone experiments in the right way with the inner fire, his body emanates a light. Such people were qualified to enter the pyramids.Neither electricity nor
torches were ever needed, their body light was sufficient to move around inside the pyramid. But such body light is only produced through special meditative practices. So the producing of that body light was itself the test of
certain people's right to enter.In the early nineteen hundreds, when investigations were being done on the pyramids, one of the scientist's assistants became lost. With the help of search lights they looked for him everywhere - for twenty-four hours he could not be found.
4-Then after twenty-four hours, some time around twoo'clock in the morning, he came running towards them, almost deranged.He said, "I was feeling
my way in the darkness and I suddenly became aware of an opening. I went through it, and as soon as I did the door shut behind me. When I looked back the door was already closed. Yet when I had first approached it, there was only an open passage, nothing there like a door. But as soon as I entered that part of the passage, a door closed behind me; a heavy rock slid down, sealing off the exit. Then I shouted, but there was no response. I had no choice but to keep walking, and the things I saw...! It's difficult to describe...."
5-It is true that he was lost for twenty-four hours and that when he was found he was half insane, but what he described as having seen was incredible. The whole search party tried to find the door, but couldn't - he could neither show where he had entered nor where he came out - so it was concluded that the man must have either fainted, or gone to sleep and dreamt. But anyway, whatever he related was made a note of.Some time after, during further explorations, the group found a book which described similar things to what the man had related.
6-So the mystery deepened. It was thought that these things were in some sealed off room which opened up only under the influence of someone who is in a certain psychic state. Perhaps it had been accidental, perhaps it was a coincidence: triggered by his mental state the man may have been unknowingly become attuned to the state in which the opening happened.
It had to be so,because although the man was not able to prove his experience, nevertheless the door did open.
7-So the secret places have their doors and there are methods through
which one can enter them. There are arrangements and special inner spiritual conditions for reaching there. All the rooms and halls of the pyramids have been built in accordance with certain pre- determined measurements. You may have experienced sometimes that where a roof is set rather low, although it does not touch you, you feel that something within you is compressed, contracted.
ARE THE THE TIRTHAS MADE FOR A MASS EXPERIMENT?-
1-There is one other thing to be understood that the tirtha is a mass experiment.. Ordinary we have the illusion that we are all separate individuals. This is a wrong belief.If we fifty person sit silently as separate individuals ; but one individuality of silence remains. And our consciousnesses begin to vibratetogether and flow into each other.
In relation to religion similar things happen. What we call religious rituals are outward, superficial actions observed by us. Those who know nothing of the inner arrangements also go through the same actions.
2-Sometimes, when something happens, we feel perhaps the rituals are helpful; at other times when nothing happens we feel earlier successes must have been accidental, because if the ritual is right it should always produce a result. So whatever we do not understand appears to be like a ritual from the outside. This happens even with those who are highly intellectual people - because intellect is, in a way, childish, and an intellectual person is, in a sense, juvenile, because intellect cannot take you very deep.
3-On one special day in a year, hundreds of thousands of people gather at a tirtha - all with one desire, one expectation. People will come from hundreds of miles away to be together at a certain hour, under a certain star or constellation. With so many people and this one desire, this one expectation, one prayer and one aim, a bridge of consciousness is created. Then there are no longer many individuals. If we look at the huge gatherings
at the Kumbha-Mela festival we do not see one individual; you see just a crowd, without a face. In a crowd separate faces cannot be found - just a faceless crowd of thousands of people.There is no meaning in trying to know. Who is poor and who is rich? Who is a king and who is a beggar? There is no meaning in trying to make a distinction.
4-The consciousnesses of everyone has begun to flow into each other. If a bridge can be made of the consciousnesses of these ten million people, if it can become one integrated consciousness, then it will be easier for the divine to enter than to enter so many individuals separately. So when human
consciousness forms a bigger contact field, the possibility of the divine descending into it becomes greater. The descending of the divine is a great happening. The greater the happening, the greater a place
we have to create for it.So the original form of prayer was group oriented; individual prayer was born much later, when the individual became more egoistic and it was more difficult for him to melt with others. So from the time individual prayer was done in the world, the real benefits of prayer were lost. 5-In fact, prayer cannot be individual. When we are invoking such a great force as the divine, the larger a contact field we provide, the easier it is for
that force to descend.In this sense, tirthas create large contact fields. Again, when such a field is created at a particular moment, on a particular day, under a certain constellation, and in a particular place, the chances are better.
It should also be understood that the life cycle is periodical.The monsoon begins at a particular time of the year.Summer and winter also arrive at particular times; and even our bodies work that way. Women's menstruation is regulated, and related in some way with the cycles of the moon. If the body is healthy and normal, after twenty-eight days menstruation occurs. If the cycle is broken, then somewhere within the body of that woman something has gone wrong.
6-All events repeat in a certain order. If the coming of the divine has happened at a particular moment, on a certain day in a certain month, next year at the same time you can expect it to happen again.That moment
has become powerful, and at that moment the divine energy can flow again. So year after year for hundreds of years, people have gathered together to wait at certain places. If this has happened many many times, then the repetition of that event at that moment becomes likely or even certain.
7-For example, at the time of the Kumbha-Mela festival there are many disputes and quarrels over who will take the first dip in the Ganges, because it is impossible for hundreds of thousands of people to simultaneously have a dip. The special moment is prearranged and of short duration. Who will take the first dip at the right moment? Those will whose traditions have worked for it and searched for the moment; they will be the first.
8-Sometimes the right moment is just missed. The moment of enlightenment is just like a flash of lightning. It just flashes and becomes lost. If at that moment you are completely open, egoless and totally aware, then there will be the experience of the happening. If at that moment your eyes become blinded or closed, if your awareness has faltered, then the event will be lost to you.
9-The third use of the tirtha was a mass experiment. The ultimate power could be drawn more easily when people were innocent and simple. So tirthas were more relevant in the distant past - no one returned empty-handed from them. But the pilgrim of today does return empty-handed, and so he must go again and again. The more innocent and simple a society, the less people were aware of their individual personalities, the more successful was this mass experiment.
10-Even today, there are primitive tribal communities in which the individual is unaware of his personality. There is less of an idea of "I"; more of "we' is there. There are a few tribal languages in which the word "I" does not exist. Tribals speak in the language of "we." It is not because of the language that there exists no concept of "I" because their life is so community-bound. That has produced some very surprising results.
11-If the consciousness of "we" is predominant, then death also can be contagious. If one dies, then death spreads. Some animals die like that. One sheep dies, then death spreads. Sheep do not have any awareness of "I," only of "we." If you see sheep walking, it is as if they are all joined together - only one life moving. If one sheep dies then the others feel like dying; the
inner feeling to die begins to spread.So when the society was more conscious of the feeling of "we" and there was not much awareness of "I," the tirtha was more relevant. The utility of such a place will be lost as the awareness of "I"increases.
WHAT IS THE VALU OF SYMBOLIC ACTS?-
1-The final thing to be understood about the tirtha is the value of symbolic acts. For example, In India it is said that no matter what sins may have been committed, if you take a bath in the Ganges you will be free from your sins. Someone who has committed theft, who has defrauded people, who has killed someone - how can he become freed of his sins by bathing in the Ganges?
2-Here two things need to be understood. The sin is not the real event but the memory is real. It is not the sin, the act of sin, that clings to you, but just the memory of it. If you have killed someone, the memory of it will haunt you like a nightmare throughout your life. Those who know of inner things say that whether a murder is committed or not is just part of a drama and is not very important.
3-Neither anybody dies nor can anyone be killed. But the memory of the sin weighs heavily on your chest like a stone. An act is committed and becomes lost in the infinite - the act is being taken care of by the infinite. The reality is that all acts are done by the infinite; you are unnecessarily becoming disturbed.The memory is the real thing. The Ganges does not free you from your sins, but can free you from the memory of them. If someone really trusts the Ganges and believes that if he bathes in it he will be free of all sins - if his collective unconscious built up over thousands of years reinforces this, and if the society in which he is living also confirms his strong belief - then he will be.
4-Bathing cannot make a person free from the sin as such, because the sin has already been committed - nothing can be done to the theft that has been committed or the murder that has been committed; nothing can be done about that - but when a person with such a belief emerges from the Ganges, his trust in its purity and power frees him from the feeling of guilt even though the bathing is only a symbolic act.
5-Hindus have found a permanent arrangement, connecting confession with a river, not a person. The river goes on receiving confessions and forgiving people. The river is infinite, its flow is steady and permanent .If someone
goes to a tirtha he will return free and unburdened; he will be free of the memory of his sin. It is the memory that is binding him and has become a bond. The shadow of the sin that follows you is the culprit. It is possible to be free from it, but there is one condition. The most important condition is that you have total faith - faith in the idea that this has been happening for thousands of years.
6-It's interesting to note that all civilizations live through beliefs, faith. Only three or four people may know how the record-player works; the rest just have faith in its working.Even you may not be able to explain how a record "speaks." Only a few people know the secrets of its working; the remaining people only utilize the benefits of the discoveries. But when those secrets are lost, those who have just utilized their benefits will be at a loss; they will be afraid if one day the light bulb doesn't light up.
7-The tirtha and the temple have their own science, and that science has specific rules for the whole process. The second step follows the first, and the third follows the second; even if one step is missed, the result will not be the
same.It should also be understood that once a civilization is highly developed, when science is properly understood, the ritual and methodology becomes simplified, they don't remain complex. When technology isn't properly developed, the process remains very complicated.
8-For example, Now speech is recorded on the tape machine, but it has taken a long time for the development of the tape recorder. Now the process is simplified, and because it is simplified the technology has reached the
common man.The common man has only the final results in his hands.
Religion too is like this. When Mahavira is working on some religious principles, he stakes his life for it. But you know the evolved process very easily. It becomes as easy for you as pressing a button.
9-But this is the real difficulty - the inventor gets lost and only the button remains in your hand and you may not be able to explain how to activate the
process or how it will work.When we talk with someone on the telephone, the primitive person is bound to be puzzled. We aren't, because we know the system. And when we listen to the radio there is nothing alarming about it for us because we know what it is. But we are certainly surprised when we are told that some people transmit messages through a tree.
10-For example there is a certain tribe in America: in every village of that tribe there is a special kind of small tree, and through the help of the tree the tribe communicates messages from one village to the other.If a man had gone to the nearby village to get some household requirements, if his wife suddenly remembers that she has forgotten to ask him to bring a particular article, she tells the tree to convey the message to her husband. In the evening when the husband arrives home, he has brought the article. The members of the commission watched this happening, and they were very puzzled.
11-The members of the commission stayed with that tribe for three or four days and set up their own experiments. They talked to the people of the village; no one was able to explain how the transmission of messages happened, they only said that it had always happened. They take care that it does not die - a ritual is made of transplanting a branch of it. Their fathers and their forefathers have always used the tree to pass on messages but they did not know how it worked. The vital energy of the tree was being used for telepathy, but why that tree was used and how the telepathy works the tribal people do not know. The key is lost with the people who discovered it.