Hiranya Garbha

This morning a thought came to my mind regarding Hiranya Garbha. Most of you might be familiar with the mantra Hiranya Garbha. It is usually chanted during Bhujangàsana. Garbha means the bosom or womb, and hiranya means golden.

We can look at the meaning in two ways. One refers to the rising sun. When the sun is a full round shape, we witness its resplendent, golden, glorious light. It is like a vessel brimming with golden light, that is Hiranya Garbha. But there is a much deeper meaning.

Gold, the metal, is given a great significance in our scriptures. Even some saints and seers wear gold, as a pendant touching their heart. We may mistakenly question why being a sanyasin, they would wear gold? But we need to understand that gold in addition to being a symbolic metal, has an affinity toward cosmic energy. It energizes the heart center also called the Anàhat Chakra. But let us be cautioned here, lest we be tempted to buy it, because gold is not the only way to energize the heart Chakra. Perhaps it is of more use in the initial stages but becomes unnecessary later.

Hiranya Garbha

Anàhat Chakra is the first chakra in the evolution process, where an aspirant feels light, free and elevated as a bird. That itself is indicative that as long as one is weighted one cannot fly. To rise and fly one has to be light. It is the Anàhat Chakra that lightens you. It is the center that gives you the experience of love, peace and compassion.

Understand here that the love spoken here is not worldly love. Worldly love binds and limits. Creates possessiveness and negative feelings of ownership. Like ‘MY’ husband or ‘MY’ wife. This love, as many of us perhaps might have experienced, creates rifts and jealousy whereupon love is desired even commanded, to be held and contained. For example, if the mother-in-law comes and talks to the people on her side of the family the wife might feel side-lined and complain of not being attended to and might even go to the extent of questioning the marriage (‘why did you marry me if you wanted to spend time with your family?’). These statements are good indicators that love experienced here is binding and limiting.

But when one experiences the heart chakra, one feels light and in such a state of ecstacy that even a plant, an animal and insect feels near and dear and worthy of reaching out to. There is a state and expression of inner joy and silence wherein love is reflected and one becomes love and feels one is love. In this state one looks at everyone through a silent state of mind and experiences love as a state of expansion.

What is our state when love is ‘possession?’ Take for example when you look at a glass and say, ‘I love it.’ It means you are bound to it. And if someone reaches to use it you protest, "No, no, no! This is MY glass!" This is true of everything and all the time. Of clothes, cars, in fact of most material things. When you say you love a dress it means you are bound to it. And thus, it turns out that even though you might be the owner and possess it, the fact is, you are possessed.

Any time we ‘possess’ or appreciate something, we have to learn to remind ourselves that we appreciate it only and not be possessed by it. In other words we say,’ This is a nice glass. I like it. It insulates and keeps hot drinks hot and cold beverages cold. But it is okay if I have it and it's okay if I don't have it.’ Same for relationships. Someone could say, "I love my sister so much. But whatever length of time she visits me is all right. Even if she is a thousand miles away, whether on this earth or another planet, it is all right. I love her does not mean she has to be in front of me every moment, 24 hours a day.’ That is how we should back off and think.

When loving something or someone - a material object like your car, or your job or a relative-wife, husband, children, family- be constantly watchful of your sense of possession. Make sure you are only and always appreciative and not possessive.

A stage will come when we will not love our body as much. Even then if something happens to it, we will exclaim, ‘Oh, MY body.’ We have to change the thought to- ‘ it is okay, whether this body stays with us or not.’ That way we begin to develop a sense of discrimination between our body and ourself.

The point of offering this perspective is to lead to the deeper meaning of Hiranya Garbha. Over time as we shift our thoughts we will begin to contemplate the difference between our body and self. And this state of mind is only yours to know. One does not have to share it with anybody else. Mind you, yoga is for one’s own self and not for anybody else. At some stage, you will be the master of your mind. When that happens and you start appreciating, you will appreciate the novel and uncommon idea, I am putting forth. In a sense it does not matter to you if I know or dont know anything. However, if I were talking rubbish, you wouldn't be sitting here and listening. But the important thing is to question where the knowledge I am putting in front of you, is coming from? What is that which is inspiring me? What is the source within me that makes me say this and share with you?

Next time you go out in a garden, observe a beautiful rose flower. Sometimes I see a rose with pink color, sometimes a yellow color, sometimes two colors. Looking at a rose one feels like possessing it. But watch out! Notice there is a beautiful rose of yellow color. But just at the edge it is pink or a red color. Where does the red color pop up from when the entire petal is yellow?

Perhaps Soneji never reads anything. Still, think, sitting in silence, how come this beautiful thought arises in me that I then share with you? What is that source it comes from? Is it from a book? No! Let us go a step forward. Even if it is from a book, where does the book come from? We never ask this question? Perhaps it is thoughts that spring from somebody's heart! But where does that come from?

If an apple comes from a tree, where does a tree come from? A seed! Where does that seed come from?

Our existence goes further and further. We don't see it. But saints and seers see it. Saints and seers describe the phenomenon as “cause and effect.” Something causes something to happen and effect is the manifestation. But what causes the cause? You came here this Saturday, when everybody else is enjoying themselves. You came here. Your coming here is the effect, but what caused you to come here? We never think in this manner. Behind all manifestation, there is a cause and an effect. In turn, the effect becomes a cause that leads to another effect. For example, something within you caused you to come here. You learnt something. That learning will cause you to do something else.

When you cool your mind, your mind starts enjoying. Then your body starts enjoying. Enjoyment is the effect of the cause of doing. Then again, the enjoyment causes you to calm down further. Enjoyment now becomes the cause and calming down is the effect; so continues the cycle of cause and effect.

Start appreciating the cause. And when you go further and deeper, you will find the cause that causes all the causality to happen. Let me repeat what I say, it is a hard concept and can frustrate and mislead. All right? What is that cause that causes causality to happen? Cause of all the causes! That in our scripture is called “ Hiranya Garbha.” That garbh, bosom, or womb from where everything comes from. Which itself does not have any cause--it is the seed of causality! That seed of causality is “ Hiranya Garbha.”

Mind you friends, Surya Namaskàr does not end just in Bhujangàsana! It does not end in chanting the beautiful mantra, AUM HIRANYAGARBHÀY NAMAH. When in Bhujangàsana, you realize and go deeper you start experiencing that cause. There is no answer anyone obtains but the seeker becomes a part of the seed or the answer! And when one becomes part of the answer, when one becomes part of the source, all questions dissolve. For one who is questioning no longer exists. There is no one remaining to ask the question. When a drop of ocean is fully aware, "I am the ocean, I am not just a drop," then the existence of the drop disappears and at that moment, the drop does not feel, "Who am I?" For it is the ocean. It is a part of the whole existence around you. That is when one feels ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.’ The whole universe is mine.

Sometimes we hear about saints in meditation for 10,000 years, or 100 years, 10 years, 10 months, 10 days, and we wonder, "10 days! He is just sitting, doing nothing." But that is a deep state of silence wherein the search for the seed of causality takes place. At that point no awareness of the body remains. And even though the body exists, it does not exist. At that point the focus, the awareness is so deep and precise, that one becomes one with the seed of causality - Hiranyagarbha.

That moment one is engulfed in the light of a billion suns. Not physical light of course - but the light of wisdom, an awareness, knowledge, veda;a light so brilliant that it never tarnishes. Now going back to the metal gold referred earlier. Gold is a metal that does not tarnish. It attracts cosmic light. Light attracts light because such is its characteristic.

When one becomes one with the light, one needs nothing. One does not need ANYTHING! That is why in the Veda it is said, "Having gotten that, nothing needs to be gotten!" "Having known which nothing needs to be known!" And why so? What else remains to know? What else does one need to possess? One has obtained all there was to obtain. You are all you are. You don't need anything. When you don't need anything, you also don't do anything, you don't have to become anything; because you are the seed of causality. You are part and parcel of it. There is no more tree to be sprung, no more seed to find.

Deep in the bosom, the seed is fully aware that I am just taking the form of this tree. In that the fruit happens. In that again, I am. Mind you, it is not saying that there is another seed. It thinks in 'that' also I am. In that seed, in the miniature form, there is a tree - 'that' I am. In that tree there are fruits. In those fruits there are lots of seeds, 'that' I am.

When one realizes in this manner, one becomes omnipresent. Then one does not feel limited to any place or person. That time would you feel like owning a property in Irvine, Ranchos, Palos Verdes, Torrance or any where else? The whole world, the universe becomes yours. That is why saints and seers can sleep under a tree; because they know that while they are under the tree, the tree, the sky, the earth and the universe, they are all nothing but different seeds. And all of that, I am. At that moment, you can experience that feeling, "Aham Brahmàsmi. Brahma asmi.” I am the universe, the seed of causality.

These are some wonderful thoughts that sprung in my head this morning. And thanks to your prayer to the divine being, we are all learning together. We will experience and study this further as and when time permits. Sometimes you hear that you can meditate with your eyes open. In the last half an hour have we not been in a state of meditation? Has a worldly thought entered your head like, "I have to go home", "I have to cook", "I have to do this" and " I have to be on the freeway". NO. So we are in a state of ecstasy even listening to this.

Keep on appreciating. Do not possess. The word we learnt today - Hiranya Garbha- the seed of causality - the bosom which is full of golden light, we will be studying it for quite a while, perhaps life long.

May we sit for few minutes in silence? Enjoy and contemplate. Think divinity, "How gracious he is that this wonderful knowledge comes to us! The seed of causality!"