Compass Newsletter Autumn 2019, No.40
Imagine a spiders web covered in dewdrops, at each intersection of a thread of the web is a dewdrop, like a jewel. Every dewdrop contains the reflection of all the other dewdrops… and so on ad infinitum. This is the story of India’s Web (Indra being a Vedic deva).
Indras Web is an infinitely large web hanging over her palace on Mount Meru. In Buddhist and Hindu traditions Mount Meru is considered to be the centre of both the physical andspiritual universe.
The net stretches infinitely in all directions, therefore infinite reflections. Each dewdrop carries itself and the reflection of all other dewdrops. The micro and the macro in one. An infinite interpenetration of all, in total. We will be be familiar with the word Dharma. Using the explanation from G. De Puruckers Occult Glossary,
“Dharma (Sanskrit) A noun derived from the verbal root dhri. The meaning is right religion, right philosophy, right science, and the right union of these three; hence the Law per se. It also means equity, justice, conduct, duty, and similar things. It has also a secondary meaning of an essential or characteristic quality or peculiarity; and here its significance approaches closely to that of svabhava. The duty of a man, for instance, is his dharma, that which is set or prescribed or natural to him to do.” (The term man is used as a generic term for humankind).
If India’s Web is applied to the thought (Dharma) it can be seen that all Dharma must be interpenetrated. The Dharma of one is the Dharma of all. Each person (each jewel), each entity, at whatever stage of evolution currently functioning, is reflected in each other entity. The net is everything. Our Cosmos, every Cosmos. There is no end. Until we have developed a greater consciousness we may be only capable of dealing with our own dharma. As consciousness grows, for all, we begin to understand and feel we are connected in a manner of cosmic reality Each dewdrop is unique and individual, yet, is not separate. Our Dharma takes place within a greater Dharma
Every entity comprises these principles. In most cases, one or more is dormant, yet to be awakened.
Atman (Higher Self) – it is neither your Spirit nor mine. It is the universal principle. It is beyond attributes and therefore defining qualities. Best, (and perhaps can only) be described as THAT, with the centre everywhere and the circumference or limiting boundary nowhere.
Buddhi – The Vehicle of Atman. It is the transmitter of Atman to Manas. It can be be regarded as the cogniser or perceiver of enlightenment being prepared to shine this enlightenment to;
Manas – The thinking part of being. It is pivotal. The higher part reaching upwards to Buddhi and Atma. The lower attracted by the manifestation of the the lower attributes of being human.
These three are referred to generally as the upper triad of being. What follows is the quartenary of the lower part of beings nature.
Kama – is colourless and heavily affected by Manas (lower or higher). It contains either base desires or higher aspirations. It is the driving force of being human.
Prana – The Life Principle. Giving the vital currents or energy to the Life Atoms inpreparation for the models of the impulse for the upcoming incarnation.
Astral (Linga Sarira) – the frame around which the physical body is constructed. Atom by atom is attracted to the physical body. The atoms are of a more ethereal substance than the physical atoms.
Physical Body (Sthula Sarira) – The coarse body of human kind. Composed of atoms modified on the Kama and Astral level and breathed onto the Kama and Astral by the Pranic breeze. Although the physical body can be seen as the least evolved of the constitution it performs a very necessary function in evolution on this plane in this period of manifestation.
These principles are not separate from each other but blend together, each informing the other. A constant process of action happening whether we are conscious of it or otherwise. A more complete description of these principles can be found at https://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/ocglos/og-hp.htm
A member at the TS Headquarters in Pasadena, Nancy Coker, has quietly passed away. Her death was unexpected. Nancy had been a familiar face at Headquarters since the 1970s, and had worked there full- time since 1989 writing numerous articles for Sunrise magazine, was actively involved in the public work of the TS and in managing the Theosophical Correspondence Course. Her ‘down to earth’ nature allowed a warmth that shone through and enriched all who knew her. Never seeking a high profile, her contribution and loving devotion will be missed. Peace and rest until you once again pick up the torch in this worthwhile and sacred endeavour.
“Buddhist economics must be very different from the economics of modern materialism, since the Buddhist sees the essence of civilization not in a multiplication of wants but in the purification of human character. Character, at the same time, is formed primarily by a man’s work. And work, properly conducted in conditions of human dignity and freedom, blesses those who do it and equally their products.”