Painting by Jeff Williams
The Light of the Master
Emanations of Eternity
By Val Jon Farris
In this article we continue our expedition to seven sacred peaks; a ring of summits that rise to the heavens like a jeweled crown of the Gods. From this luminous ring shines the most powerful spiritual light in the world, the Light of the Masters. Like gravity holds together the universe’s celestial bodies, the “Light of the Masters” infuses an omnipotent unifying wisdom into every living entity. Its golden gem-like radiance dwells within all things and its presence is visible through the window of all the world’s religions and faiths. Moses witnessed its power in the burning bush of “I am that I am.” The Gnostics beheld it as “Gnosis,” or inspired knowledge. The Hindus experience it as “Kundalini,” an intense light energy that moves through the physical body. The common message among all the scriptures of antiquity is that this Master’s Light exists within us and all we need do is access it.
The secret to accessing this wisdom and light lies in the “ring of seven summits” I mentioned above. Each “summit” represents a facet of spiritual wisdom, or a “dimension of knowing”. When all seven facets are accessed simultaneously the landscape of the soul is illuminated, revealing the infinite power of the “Light of the Masters”. The seven dimensions of knowing are Humility, Eternality, Truth, Passion, Sovereignty, Faith and Service. Why these seven and not others? Because they encompass the full spectrum of human experience and generate the core behaviors needed to embrace the infinite.
The good news is that the seven dimensions of knowing already exist within us. The challenging news is that revealing their secrets can be an intense emotional experience. Contrary to popular belief, spiritual wisdom isn’t always bestowed through blissful or peaceful means. It sometimes takes an act of God, a tragedy or loss, or a humbling blow to the ego before we open to the Divine.
Like the cosmic forces that create, maintain and destroy stars, the “Light of the Masters” casts its lessons into the human soul with both grace and fury. It is through acts of devotion, trials of misfortune, expressions of love and onslaughts of pain that we are endowed with the Master’s Light. The challenge is to sift through the trauma and the drama of our lives until the gems of wisdom are revealed to us.
I’m going to share a real life experience with you now that illuminates how to access a dimension of knowing and how to apply its wisdom. Join me now for a remarkable and inspiring journey into the second emanation of the Light of the Masters, Eternality. Together we will travel to the far-off lands of Southern India where holy master, Sai Baba defies the laws of physics and enraptures multitudes of spiritual seekers.
Sai Baba also known as “Swami,” is the most respected and influential spiritual leader in India. Millions of people from every country in the world consider him to be the Avatar of the ages. An “Avatar” is a divine entity manifest in human form, much like Jesus of Nazareth. Their role is to be the wellspring of spiritual inspiration for humanity, believers and skeptics alike. Avatars are said to appear during times of planetary strife or when spiritual rejuvenation is needed. Like a sun’s gravity attracts and holds its revolving planets in orbit, an Avatar attracts and holds those who are on the path of divinity. Avatar or not, unlike many spiritual leaders, Sai Baba denounces secular doctrine. He believes that all religions and faiths of the world are holy and that all forms of worship contribute to the betterment of humanity. His philosophy is very simple—love all and serve all.
In terms of daily discipline and spiritual philosophy, Sai Baba often refers to the ancient texts of the Vedas, which embodies two kinds of Dharma, or codes of conduct, called “Nivrithi” and “Pravrithi.” Nivrithi is the inward path, which teaches knowledge of the higher Self, the inner spirit and the ways of consciousness. Pravrithi is the outward path, which teaches about the qualities and values needed for living in the day-to-day world. It is the inclusion of both the inner world and the outer world that Sai Baba demonstrates and teaches his disciples. Sai Baba speaks about his mission here on earth in this way:
Like a human wave, clusters of people gently rise up and sway toward him offering gifts, notes and letters as he walks. Occasionally he stops to accept their letters and bless them with vibhuti. (Vibhuti is a holy ash that Sai Baba manifests from his palms. Resembling the ash created through cremation, it has a sweet divine fragrance similar to sandalwood incense. According to Indian theologians, vibhuti is composed of ethereal particles that Swami gathers from the ends of the universe and brings together in the form of a sacred ash. It symbolizes the paradox between the illusion of mortality and the eternal nature of the soul.)
Time after time Swami moves his hand in a circular motion creating vibhuti right out of thin air. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it. It is no trick though. His sleeves hang just below his elbows exposing his dark thin forearms, so there is no way he can sleight of hand what I’m witnessing. At one point he stops in front of a devotee holding up a small ornate chest the size of a shoebox. As the man raises the box toward him, Sai Baba rotates his right hand. As he does, a bluish white flash of light appears in his palm and then, without blinking an eye, I witness a two-inch-high mound of vibhuti appear in his open palm! He then turns his hand downward and the ash begins pouring into the box until it flows out over the edges.
What happens next stuns me. As Sai Baba scans the ocean of faces, he makes eye contact with me. His dark liquid eyes are like whirlpools swirling into an ocean of eternity. His presence is truly divine. He possesses the features of a child, innocent and pure, yet he also exudes an ancient wisdom and timeless grace. Although our eye contact lasts only a split second, I get a glimpse into the vastness of eternity, an eternity that is about to come within my mortal grasp.
Swami then walks right up to me so I can touch him. (In India this gesture is considered a rare honor.) I impulsively reach down and place my hand on his bare feet. Flesh to flesh, I humbly ask for his blessing. It is immediately granted, but then something unexpected happens. A bolt of energy suddenly shoots up my arm and into my chest! Before I know it the experience is over and Sai Baba moves down the isle and eventually out of the hall.
The energy Sai Baba sent into my chest as I touched his feet that day opened my heart to the dimension of knowing called Eternality. As a result, I am far more patient and compassionate with myself and with others. I am able to endure suffering without losing my faith or spiritual connection. And most important, I no longer fear death in any way. I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that although the body passes away, the soul that infuses it with life is immortal.
Resilience is the ability to bounce back after taking a hit. It is the tenacity and strength to recover time and time again from circumstances that befall us. Resilience means being fresh, new and vivid in every moment. It is the ability to channel our energies and restock our resources so they are available to us whenever we need them. Emotional resilience expresses itself in the ability to stay engaged, deal with problems, confront issues and follow through with honesty and completeness. A component of initiation is also associated with resilience. Being resilient means stepping forward of our own accord, making ourselves visible and our ideas known.
Endurance is long-standing fortitude. It is resilience stretched over time. To endure means to hold up for the long haul, to maintain the energy required to confront infinite distress, fatigue and hardship. Emotional endurance is the ability to not only tolerate, but actively embrace what we abhor and derive energy from it, rather than be drained by it. There is an element of constant rebirth in endurance. We may figuratively die in one moment so we can be reborn in the next. Although antithetical, death sometimes is the pathway to endurance—not physical death per se, but the death perhaps of ego or attachments that keep us small and ineffective. It was the philosopher Nietzsche who said, “We must die many times in order to live.”
Indestructibility is the knowledge that, although our body will perish, our spirit can never be destroyed. Being indestructible means possessing the awareness that who we are is much greater than our identity. When “I” expands beyond the confines of “me,” and includes “you,” and even “thou,” the awareness of eternality becomes available. Indestructibility gives us the courage to face life, take risks and constantly redefine who we are and what we are capable of. It doesn’t have to give license to heedlessness, rather, it can empower us to more freely participate in the mystery and wonder of being alive. It is often through the loss of what we thought was permanent that we come to know the eternal. The death of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, or a major life change can bring us the awareness that everything we thought was permanent is actually transitory and that it is only our soul and spirit that endures through time.
Join me next time as we explore the third facet of the Light of the Masters, Truth. Traveling to a remote mountainous monastery in Japan, we experience a magical encounter with a world renowned Zen Master, Roshi Mumon Yamada. His transcendental insights and lightening wit will blaze new meaning for you into the notions of truth, integrity and self-esteem.
Val Jon Farris is a behavioral scientist and spiritual anthropologist who travels the world exploring ancient ruins and mystical cultures. This article is excerpted from his new book “Inca Fire! Light of the Masters,” available at bookstores, www.incafire.com