Saṃsāra and Nirvana – the Ultimate Duality

Samsara

I loved this article and happily I just received permission from Ethan Indigo Smith to republish it here . (He mentioned to add that he is giving away books, visit his amazon author page for more info at the link at bottom. I dedicate this to my beautiful granddaughter who’s name is Samara. :)

By Ethan Indigo Smith

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

The more I learn about Buddhism, the more I appreciate the many teachings of Buddha and the subsequent learned people who followed him, and the more I hear people speaking on such lessons – whether they realize it or not.

Truth resonates like that. To find resonating truth in the time of the Kali Yuga – the Fourth Age of Deception – I try to find correlation of information among many subjects, and Buddhism both reveals truth and also correlates with truths from other cultures and also others systems; those of science, psychology and the esoteric.

I will attempt to summarize one of the most profound teachings of Buddhism that can require an immense amount of absorption (another term for meditation or contemplation) to integrate – that there is Saṃsāra and Nirvana. Understanding this duality can lead to a greater understanding, being the ultimate contrast of Buddhism.

First though, here are some teachings as a base to this idea.

Saṃsāra and Nirvana

Saṃsāra literally means “continuous movement” and is commonly translated as “cyclic existence” or “cycle of existence”. In Buddhism, Saṃsāra refers to the continual repetitive cycle of birth and death that is created by our fixating on the self and experiences, specifically, the process of cycling through rebirth after rebirth within the six realms of existence. In the Buddhist view, one can only be liberated from Saṃsāra through Nirvana.

Nirvana literally means “extinguishing”, and refers to the extinction of the fires of attachment, aversion and ignorance. In the Buddhist view, when these fires are extinguished, suffering comes to an end and one is released from the cycle of rebirth.

Buddhists perceive reality and its volatile predictability through a set of conditions or principles, known as the Four Thoughts. One, we have a precious human body capable of gaining enlightenment and assisting others in the process. Two, everything is impermanent; ourselves and the condition of the natural and man-made world, if you will. Three, everything is made up of Karma; you are the result of it and everything that’s been done results in karma bouncing around. Four, we exist in the state of Saṃsāra, this gross physical realm where we can be either animals chasing tails or carrots tied to string – or we can become elevated beings.

An optimal response to these conditions is contained in The Four Immeasurables. These are Love for self, Love for others, Love for the happiness of others, and Love for all in equanimity. The conditions of Saṃsāra require that we take compassionate courses of action via the Four Immeasurables – the four forms of love – otherwise we enhance our suffering and the suffering of others. Buddhists, having addressed reality thoroughly, realize that in every meeting there is parting, in every spring there is fall, and in every birth there is death.

Saṃsāra is the happiness and hell on earth, the everything. Its opposite is Nirvana. Samsara is everything in reality. Nirvana is nothingness; the bliss that just IS, the essence beyond birth and death and even beyond duality. It is oneness.

Here in Saṃsāra, practically everything is polarized and more specifically in a dualistic state of polarity, a state where there is spring, there is fall and for every winter there is summer. Saṃsāra is a war world, a place of ego and power, of total contradiction. We fight in the name of peace, poison our bodies with toxic “medicines” and unnatural foods, and view our religious faiths as a point of separation, not of Oneness. And so Saṃsāra will remain a war world until the Majority of Love takes control from the oligarchical institutions that rule over us globally. Until then, humanity will continue on the treadmill of birth and death, while it struggles to reconcile the duality of its own existence.

Boys meditating

There are lessons and concepts in this Buddhist teachings that can be applied spiritually and intangibly, in a multitude of ways. But Buddhism can all be seen as an allegory for how we approach our daily life and reality.  We all have the ability to manifest Saṃsāra or Nirvana, here and now. We can act on behalf of lifeless institutions, ignoring the Four Thoughts and Four Immeasurables, or we can proceed in peaceful compassionate unison with each other – and remove the roadblocks of failed institutions along the way.

Each of us, in equanimity, is just a wandering sentient being – and most of us are extremely compassionate at heart. In fact there is mounting evidence that humankind is evolving (from necessity) to become more compassionate. We have the technology and resources to provide for the energy, food and water needs of every human being on the planet, but dismayed, we stand back and watch our institutions direct our resources toward war and corporate empire-building.

Something is not right here.

Why is it that we collectively fashion billions of dollars and thousands of people together for war instead of building equal infrastructure to help one another? Why are we allowing the others to dictate priorities to us which are so unaligned to our true nature?

Because the majority of us are living in a state of warring consciousness; we were born into it; we exude that consciousness and manifest it outwardly via what are now long-standing war machines — those military, nuclear and industrial institutions and legislative devices that are either built to kill, or are slowly killing us anyway. But the Powers That Be forget the important lessons of history… the inquisitors and oppressors never win the battle, and no empire lasts forever. 

Choose peace over war, choose individuals over institutions, choose compassionate helping instead of passionate hindering. Remember The Four Thoughts and Four Immeasurables. When institutions try to build another war machine or oligarchical institution, or try to illicit another senseless war, remember: if it’s not done out of love it’s not worth doing. The only way out of Saṃsāra is through Nirvana.

For more information, please check out my previous article Meditation and Intuition in the Fourth Age of Deception (the Kali Yuga)

Previous articles by Ethan (excellent reading!):

About the author:

Ethan Indigo SmithAuthor, activist and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Guided by a keen sense of integrity and humanity, Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humour.

The events of September 11, 2001 inspired him to write his first book, The Complete Patriot’s Guide to Oligarchical Collectivism, an insightful exploration of history, philosophy and contemporary politics. His more recent publications include:

  • Tibetan Fusion a book of simple meditative practices and movements that can help you access and balance your energy
  • The Little Green Book of Revolution an inspirational book based on ideas of peaceful revolution, historical activism and caring for the Earth like Native Americans
  • The Matrix of Four, The Philosophy of the Duality of Polarity on the subject of the development of individual consciousness
  • 108 Steps to Be in The Zone a set of 108 meditative practices and steps toward self discovery and individual betterment, including techniques to develop balance, transmute sexual energy and better the self
  • and the controversial book, Terra-ist Letters, a work that humorously contrasts the very serious issues of global nuclear experimentation promotion and global marijuana prohibition

For more information, visit Ethan on Facebook and check out Ethan’s author page on Amazon.com

Advertisements

Immortality as Consciousness

movamulet

As portions of the One, we are immortal. We have chosen to ‘play’ in space-time, the earth plane of Limitation. Caught in temporal mortal forms, our human body, veiled in the illusion of separation and Samsara, the cyclical ocean of death & birth, we fear our impending inevitable death.

While enjoying the adventure of Limitation, human beings since ancient times have fervently sought immortality. From the Akkadian Gilgamesh to the alchemist Sir Isaac Newton, eternal life has been the burning desire of many, especially the rich and powerful. Throughout our current Kali Yuga, all of written history, men and women have longed for immortality in the hope of prolonging their present identity and perhaps even bodily form. Yet most remain deluded — bound in our self-imposed sojourn.

There are now 176 billion observable galaxies. There are trillions of stars, each of which in all probability may have at lease one inhabitable planet awaiting life forms. There is no reason to assume that the numerous extra terrestrial races have no part in the seeding and colonization of planets. Indeed the idea that earth was seeded by various off-planet beings is not in conflict with the metaphysical traditions of consciousness and enlightenment found in the Sanskrit texts.

Ritual as Control

It appears that on occasion, the beings that colonized planet Earth, their priests and occultists, have offered their ‘chosen’ ones elaborate rituals, tests and quests that promised immortality. These chosen ones participated in elaborate, often costly and sacrificial rituals only to find themselves after death in yet another temporal realm – a slice of the myriad realms, the temporal astral planes, which they magnetized by the ritual practices. All these realms, every layer of 1000′s of heavens, hells and in-between are temporal, limited by time. Thus the ‘chosen’ who thought they were achieving immortality, found themselves eventually back in Samsara, the endless cycles of death & birth. They had not reached true immortality, the eternal imperishable One that pervades All — that which they were to begin with!

The idea that man could make himself immortal beyond time, through time-based priestcraft rituals and so-called ‘sacred’ material objects as instruments is a bit humorous. Everything is sacred. Immortality is not about life span, years in any particular bodily form, sharira. Real immortality is reaching God Consciousness, returning to our Source, That, the Tattva-ness we have always been. Therefore any and all elaborate secret arcane occult ritual dramas only got the’chosen’ ones to yet another temporal realm.

The Chandogya Upanishad III.6 explains the Real immortality, amritam, which is beyond the hands of time. The Seer Rishis reached immortality by ‘brooding’ on the verses in the Rig Veda, meaning they focused on the Wisdom Truth in the Sanskrit verses which are compared to the flowers of immortal nectar, a honey water that has the power to issue forth in its essence the birthless-deathless Reality. The wisdom woven in the verses holds the ineluctable power to immerse, absorb and return our consciousness into the One, the Source eternal beyond death and birth.

Our colonizers did indeed have much longer life spans than we earthlings. The Anunnaki were not the first of these colonizing races, but perhaps they were the last. One year for Anu, Enlil, Enki, Ninhursag, Inanna and the others is said to be 3600 of our human years. In terms of their years, they have not been ‘absent’ from our planet for very long. However they too die, even though we could not perceive their mortality because their allotted years greatly exceeded ours.

The Bhagavad Gita states that all manifest beings are mortal. In XVIII.40 Krishna says that no being, either on earth or in heaven among the ‘gods’ is free of Prakriti’s gunas, meaning the modes of material nature, the matrix that exists in time. Even the spheres of the Vedas, their rites and rituals, are said to be confined to the three gunas (sattva, rajas & tamas) and therefore belong to the plane of time. Krishna [BhG.II.45] urges his friend Arjuna to Become, to move beyond duality and liberate himself from the gunas, the power Shakti of Prakriti’s matrix.

Time Relative to the Vital Rhythms

Alain Danielou has a very insightful take on immortality in his book ‘While the Gods Play.’ He says that even though the duration of the gods may appear immense to our human consciousness, they are still “within the domain of multiplicity, the domain of Prakriti” and thus are mortal. How could these gods give us immortality when they do not themselves possess it?

Danielou states that the relative experience of time by various forms in creation is due to “the value that we attach to a given length of time…relative to our physical body. It is determined by the vital rhythms of each species.” Each life form has its own heartbeat and this vital rhythm dictates its duration in time.

Even though the immortality of the flesh is unobtainable, what was given to us is the sacred Wisdom-Knowledge to reach our own God-Consciousness that dwells within each of us. This knowledge was revealed and concealed in the Rig Veda. The Upanishads were written many years later and sought to illuminate the Rig Veda. “The Upanishads form a natural continuity of the glorious spiritual visions and realizations reached by the Rishis of the [Rig Veda] Samhitas… [T.V. Kapali Sastry].” The consciousness of mankind was continually ineluctably sinking into the solidification of matter through an increasing differentiated five-sense perception, as the Kali Yuga inexorably rolled on into ever-deeper density.

The colonizers of planet Earth were taken to be gods because they possessed advanced technology and seemed immortal to us. The term ‘gods’ in Sanskrit devas comes from the root √div and simply means shinning, luminescence, effulgence. The devas are the invisible (to the five senses) forces which play their part in the subtle body to generate the creative give-and-take relationship with the manifest external, the temporal illusory holographic universe. “The gods of the Vedic pantheon – Agni, Vayu, Indra, Surya – are frequently mentioned as having a double function as nature powers in the universe, (adhidaivatam), and as lords of the sense, life, mind and other instruments of the soul within us, (adhyatmam). [T.V. Kapali Sastry]”

Dead Ritual

The ‘gods’ have been personified throughout written history and tyrants have used this tool of the personification of ‘gods’ and the mythopoeisation of history [Malati J. Shendge] to control us through fear. Tyrants benefit from fear and endless destructive wars, many of which have been religious. Ritual has played its role and I quite like this description of the birth of ritual by the Sanskrit scholar, Malati J. Shendge — any ritual, yours and mine: “When the events became symbolic and were ascribed magical powers to attain certain aims, the process of mythopoeisation was complete. History was forgotten and dead ritual became the end in itself.”

Many of the Upanishads reject ritual. Swami Muni Narayana Prasad says that the Mundaka Upanishad “highlights the defects and weak points of Vedism and its ritual, and advises the seeker to become indifferent to them.” In the Bhagavad Gita II.45-6 Krishna says that Vedic rituals belong to the domain of Prakriti’s three gunas and tells Arjuna to ‘Become!’ without them; and further, he says that the Vedas are of no more use to the Self-Realized person than a well, when the entire land is flooded. Priestcraft rituals will not deliver immortality or Moksha, Liberation.

Sanskrit is a very difficult language to learn, and is said to take eighteen years to master all the subtleties of Sanskrit grammar. Naturally this arduous task left Sanskrit and therefore knowledge in the sacred Sanskrit texts, under the control of an elite. In India a guru was the only means to access the knowledge of the Vedas, Upanishads, etc. because unless you were born into the priest caste, you could not read the texts. Thanks to the many translations of these jewels of wisdom, people all over the world can now read the ancient sacred Sanskrit texts. Some of the translations are surely superior to others, just as there are good gurus and better ones. A translation made by an enlightened master is going to carry the power of that consciousness, and therefore be a more direct revelation.

With a sincere heart and dedicated purpose, I believe that we don’t necessarily require a guru. Certainly an enlightened teacher would be a wonderful experience, but even the Kashmir Shaivite saint and scholar, Swami Lakshmanjoo has said, “Don’t pin this on me!” In the last moments, it is up to us. As Krishna says [BhG.VI.5], we must lift ourselves up by the Self, Atmana. Swami Muni Narayana Prasad has also said that some do reach enlightenment by their own efforts, alone and without a guru.

Wisdom from Altair

In my book ‘Inanna Returns’ based on my visions of the Anunnaki colonization of our planet Earth, Inanna told me that when the geneticists Enki and Ninhursag created us, the lulus, they intentionally unplugged some of the genes. These genes in the human body were connected to our ability to realize that we are the One. The colonizing family did not want a worker race that refused to take orders or might rebel. Our ignorance of our origins served their purpose and kept us in the bow-down-and-worship phase of our evolution. I assumed that this was natural because the radiation wars seemed to coincide with the advent of the Kali Yuga — and thus the exposure to radiation pushed the human race into deeper ignorance and limitation.

Inanna said that when she was given the Indus Valley, she was already quite fed up with the increasingly chauvinistic attitudes of the males in her family and thus she resolved to attempt to activate the unplugged DNA. If you think of how many metaphysical systems there are in India, just imagine that throughout the universe there must be countless versions of primordial metaphysics, Truth, Satya, Rita (from the root meaning to rise, tend upward), the Eternal Right, Sanatana Dharma. Inanna called the system Samkhya, and because I did not want to add more to ET confusion, I said it originated in the Pleiades; but Inanna told me that what she taught was from Altair. Ninhursag’s mother came from the Altairian system and Ninhursag in turn, taught Inanna. Setting up what amounted to Tantric temples that practiced tantric rituals with trained priestesses and priests, Inanna determined to give the humans, the lulus, an advantage in consciousness.

‘God’ Genes

The immediate offspring of the Anunnaki already had better DNA, meaning they had abilities to access other dimensional realms that most of the worker race did not possess. When Enlil found out that Inanna was doing this, he was horrified, angry, and gave Marduk permission to destroy the Indus Valley civilization.

I don’t ask the reader to believe what I say here about the Indus Valley Civilization, but look at India – how amazing is it that the ancient Sanskrit texts were preserved. How incredible is it that the British thought that India’s ancient religious beliefs were not worth destroying. Remember that the Romans burned the ancient books in the Library of Alexander. I know — I died in that fire. Sometimes when I am copying a Sanskrit verse, I see the letters through the eyes of that lonely old man in the library at Alexandria, slowly methodically copying old Sanskrit written on dried palm leaves.

It is a miracle that we do have the Rig Veda, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, the essence of them all, to guide us Home.

Think of how often tyrannical dark forces have destroyed great civilizations, devastating the earth again and again, leaving the vast majority of mankind in poverty, fear, hunger, and ignorance. Wouldn’t our acceptance of wisdom teachings allow more to become enlightened? Who doesn’t want us to remember that we are portions of the One? Surely if everyone is God, then it can only be that there are designated beings whose ‘job’ description is playing the Darth Vader roles. In the Mahabharata, the character Duryodhana, who has played a primary part in starting the war, in fact is upon his death greeted with cheers and showers of flower petals by the ‘gods’ in the heavens. He is said to enjoy a heaven for those who have played their role, meaning he has lived out his own dharma and contributed to the adventure of limitation, the human drama.

I know this may sound a bit crazy at first, but consider this — if we all became enlightened at once, would the universe collapse? Who would there be to ‘play’ and mirror the myriad aspects of the One into the temporal illusory hologram? Yes, the bad guys do have a role, and this included the Anunnaki. Some of the family are in fact now trying to help us and many have incarnated in human flesh-and-blood bodies to activate the dormant genome. The hope is to re-establish the Satya Yuga, the era of Truth, and our collective memory of primordial metaphysics, without which there can be no harmony with the Creator, but only further delusion and dissolution.

Fear Propaganda as Control

The cacophony of a threat-matrix around the Anunnaki coming is just one more in a long line of ritual-rackets from the Fear Inc. tyrants who seek to keep mankind bewildered, confused, in fear and safely away from the Wisdom-Knowledge of our true Being, the One. Instead of rapid-fire running around the Internet, chasing mendacity and demons, and messing up the synaptic patterns in our brain that are conducive to contemplation, let us focus on our own consciousness within. There we will find Peace, lasting Love, integrity, truly useful power, and even our own Immortality.

For thousands of years the Sanskrit texts have held the secret key to our freedom and enlightenment, the recognition of our innate God-Consciousness within. That is the only immortality we have ever needed. The rest is mere delusion and deception. Just as the only real Free Will we possess is latent within us, so it is that true immortality awaits us within, in the Heart.

I often say to myself and I hope you have a sense of humour, because I mean this in the highest most sacred loving sense — I often say that God is crazy! God is crazy in Love for Its Creation. There is only one Soul, forever dancing in crazy Love, Its mad blissful Joy across thousands of universes.

We meet in the Heart,

V. Susan Ferguson

“The gods of the Vedic pantheon – Agni, Vayu, Indra, Surya – are frequently mentioned as having a double function as nature powers in the universe, (adhidaivatam), and as lords of the sense, life, mind and other instruments of the soul within us, (adhyatmam). [T.V. Kapali Sastry]”

About the Author

V. Susan Ferguson is the author of Inanna Returns, Inanna Hyper-Luminal; her own commentary on the Bhagavad Gita and the Shiva Sutras; and Colony Earth & the Rig Veda. Her website is Metaphysical Musing.

“The gods of the Vedic pantheon – Agni, Vayu, Indra, Surya – are frequently mentioned as having a double function as nature powers in the universe, (adhidaivatam), and as lords of the sense, life, mind and other instruments of the soul within us, (adhyatmam). [T.V. Kapali Sastry]”

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, I.iv.10:

“And to this day, [those] who…know the Self as I am Brahman [the One], become all this universe.
Even the gods [any other dimensional beings] cannot prevent his becoming this, for he has become their Self. …if a man worships another deity thinking: He is one and I am another, he  does not know.
He [who does not know] is like a sacrificial animal to the gods. As many animals serve a man, so does each man serve the gods. Even if one animal is taken away, it causes anguish to the owner; how much more so when many are taken away!
Therefore it is not pleasing to the gods that men should know this [that they are the One].”

Resources: 

– Lights on the Upanishads, with Sri Aurobindo Darshana, by T.V. Kapali Sastry; Sri Aurobindo Kapali Sastry Institute of Vedic Culture, Bangalore, 1947, 2004.

– While the Gods Play, Shaiva Oracles and Predictions on the Cycles of History and the Destiny of Mankind, by Alain Danielou; Inner Traditions International, Rochester, Vermont, 1987.

– Bhagavad Gita, In the Light of Kashmir Shaivism, with original video, Revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo, Edited by John Hughes, Co-editors Viresh Hughes and Denise Hughes; Universal Shaiva Fellowship, 2013.

– Life’s Pilgrimage Through The Gita, by Swami Muni Narayana Prasad; D.K. Printworld, New Delhi, 2005, 2008.

– The Bhagavad Gita in the Mahabharata, A Bilingual Edition, translated by J.A.B. van Buitenen; The University of Chicago Press, 1981.

– The Bhagavad Gita, translated by Winthrop Sargeant; State University of New York Press, 1994.

– Abhinavagupta’s Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, Gitartha Samgraha, translated by Boris Marjanovic; Indica Books, Varanasi, 2002, 2004.

– The Civilized Demons: The Harappans in Rig Veda, Malati J. Shendge; Abhinav Publications, New Delhi, 1977.

– Satyaloka in the Rig Veda, A Study, by Dr. A. Venkatasubbiah (1886-1969); Vishveshvaranand Vedic Research Institute, 1974.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.