Introduction : Human World Tree
OM SHANTI. 'Om' means 'I am a soul'. 'Shanti' means more than peace, it means 'full of peace'. The soul is filled with essence of peace, as a seed is filled with the essence of the emerging tree. Let me return to my own original seed form. When there is the consciousness of 'I, the seed', it is possible to understand the significance of all human creation, the entire human world tree. I, the seed that designs the tree of my own future, can recognise that God the Supreme is the seed of this tree, it is possible to understand all of its secrets. If you hold a seed in your hand, you are in fact holding the secrets of the potential tree as well.
This world tree has been transferred to as the Kalpa (Cyclic) tree, and it is said that if you sit beneath the kalpa tree, all your desires are fulfilled. It is also said to be the inverted tree, because God, the seed, is up above in the incorporeal world and we are down here in the corporeal world. First let us see how this tree can fulfill all our desires.
With an ordinary tree, there would first of all be the roots, from which a trunk emerges. Then branches develop from the trunk, and eventually, the tree would have expanded to such an extent that it could grow no further; at this point it would begin to decay. In just the same way, with the kalpa tree there is birth, growth, sustenance and then the period of decay. However, decay does not mean the end. When the tree reaches a critical point, before it dies, it leaves a seed which can provide the continuity, and again a new tree emerges. In this way the human world tree is also eternal; constantly changing, constantly developing, but at no time is there no tree, or no human world. We can understand those changes more easily if we look at the world alongside this analogy of the kalpa tree.
The Roots of the Tree.
In a normal tree, the most important part can be considered to be the root, the part through which the life-giving water is absorbed for the creation of the tree. Similarly, with the kalpa tree, the time when the roots are growing, when the tree is being planted, is the most important. The deeper the roots and the stronger the fountain, the more beautiful tree can become. At this particular period of time it is possible for us to lay the foundation for our whole future, for the entire period of the tree, because it is at this time, the Confluence Age, that we are able to experience a connection with the seed of the tree, and we are able to understand the laws of karma. Action has also been called a seed. The seeds I sow now will bring fruit at some time or other. By understanding the seed of the tree, God, and by understanding the seeds which are my own actions, it is possible for me to plant for myself the future of my choice. But just as when an ordinary tree is being planted, there is a specific season, an auspicious time, so if advantage of that time is not taken, and it is allowed to pass then no matter how much effort is made later on, t still isn't possible to obtain any fruit. If time is wasted during the planting season, there will only be regret later on. In the same way, if I realise that this is the transition period between the old world and the new world, the old tree and the new tree, I can take advantage of it and plant for my own future. It's the same with education in that there is a particular time for study, and if that opportune moment is missed then, without that foundation the future is unstable. Now is the period for the study of spiritual matters, for the realisation of the self and of the Supreme. Education is like the planting of a tree. The period of planting is comparatively short, but the time in which the reward of fruit is experienced is much longer. So too, we study Raja Yoga for a very short time, but the effects of this last for many thousands of years. The seeds of pure karma that we now sow beings us fruit far into the future.
As one digs and goes deeper and deeper into the soil in order to plant a seed, others passing will see this labour and try and distract the person's attention, saying it's not necessary to be putting in so much effort, it's time to be enjoying the sunshine. If that person is distracted, the time passes and the opportunity is gone. In the same way, as I study Raja Yoga, as I build my foundation for the future, a thousand and one distractions will come. It is only with spiritual consciousness that there can be the awareness of what needs to be done at this time. I will only continue to prepare my future if I am aware of the time period and my own responsibility. In the Confluence Age, with knowledge, meditation and yoga, the soul has the power and understanding to perform the fight actions so that it can create for itself the foundation of the Golden Age that is to come very soon.
Once the roots have been established and the foundation of the Golden Age laid through the change in human consciousness, that Golden Age will become a reality here on earth. In the context of the tree, this period, also known as the Sun Dynasty, is the trunk. There is one religion, one government, one world family, one kingdom, one language. All are happy in whatever role they are playing in that kingdom, there is contentment and satisfaction in relationships, and peace and harmony prevail. The sun is shining - it is the period of the Sun Dynasty. No clouds mark the horizon, for this is the day - there is the light of the highest consciousness. Humans can be described as Deities, for although they are human, their qualities are divine. They are one hundred percent perfect. Life-span are long as they follow a yogi way of life: i.e. there is no religion in the sense of ritual or worship of God, but the sanskaras of the deities are those of the highest religious qualities. In this way, the religion there is the religion of divine beings, the Deity Religion, existing here on earth. There is a divine way of life for everyone, whether they are the emperor or the subjects of that golden age kingdom.
As time goes by there is birth and re-birth. This wouldn't be described as death, but merely the shedding of the old skin and the taking on of a new, perfect costume. In that world of immortality, the word 'death' doesn't even exist. No suffering, no attachment, no fear - in this way human life can be enjoyed to its fullest extent. Throughout the period of the Golden Age the soul adopts eight different 'costumes' within a period of time which God has shown most precisely as being of one thousand two hundred and fifty years. This means the life-span is approximately 150 years, because the soul is pure and powerful, so the life-span is long. As birth and re-birth continues, we move gradually from the Golden Age to the Silver Age, from the Sun Dynasty to the Moon Dynasty. Here there is still light, but there is a little coolness in that light. The word 'paradise' is till appropriate for there is still great purity, harmony and peace. Still the one trunk of the tree continues and there is one religion and one undivided kingdom. However as the soul passes through its eight births in the Golden Age, it loses a little power so that within the Silver Age, again a period of 1,250 years, there are in fact twelve births. The life-span has become a little shorter.
The Branches Begin.
Here we reach a point when half the period of the kalpa has gone by, also by this time, half the power of purity in the soul has slipped away. There is no way of regenerating this power and so the Copper Age begins, and there are dramatic changes. Suddenly there is a vast change in consciousness and the soul becomes very aware of its physical costume; it is attracted by its physical body. It begins to enjoy the physical senses, and due to this change in consciousness, the soul is no longer master of those senses. It is pulled by them and gradually becomes their slave. With this change, not only is there attraction for the soul's own body, but for the physical costumes of others, and it is at this time that the Deities fall from their pedestals of purity and the first violence of lust comes into the world. Once lust has entered the kingdom, anger, attachment, greed and arrogance follow soon afterwards. The undivided kingdom is now divided. The one trunk now splits and branches appear. The Deities can no longer be called Deities, and the divine way of life has now disappeared. Immortality has been lost, and humans become mere mortals. They begin to seek the protection of God as they experience sorrow and suffering - the results of their own actions. In their distress they begin to worship and remember the One Supreme Eternal Father. First and foremost there is the worship of the Incorporeal, represented by a diamond - symbolising the Incorporeal, radiating light all around. The Koh-i-noor diamond now found in the English Crown Jewels is one part of that original diamond which represented incorporeal God Shiva. But there is not only the pure, loving, unadulterated worship of the one God; there is also the memory of their former selves, and images of those Deities are created. Humans have forgotten that they themselves were those divine beings and now they make images of their own past selves and worship them. Worship, or 'bhakti' has become adulterated. There is no longer worship of the one Supreme. When there was law and order in the world, in the time of the Deity religion, there was no need for courts, judges or even laws, as there was natural justice. But now, as man falls, there is the need for spiritual laws to be written, and so religion in the way we know it begins. Laws for social defined, and a world of structures begins. As a reaction to the beginning of idol worship, a prophet comes, and the message of Abraham is one that makes people realise that it is not through idol worship that there is reunion with God. Thus the firs tbranch of the tree appears. Abraham comes onto the world stage and the branch of Judaism begins. Man is given spiritual laws, and Judaism is the path of law. There are laws of man's behaviour with God, of man's relationship with his family, the relationship between priest and followers, between man and wife, children and parents, teachers and students. Judaism defines each of these aspects of life with laws, and in this way the first branch of the tree appears.
At this time, violence also begins. Another messenger appears, and he preaches the path of non- violence, the noble way of life, the eight-fold path of nobility. His name is Buddha and the path he shows is one of purity and nobility in action. However, when questioned about God, there is no comment. It is understandable in a world of confusion to lay emphasis on man's actions rather than going into abstract discussions and philosophies concerning the inconceivable being. Attention is diverted from the abstract towards the more practical side of activity and there is concern for the behaviour of individuals. This aspect of responsibility is fulfilled.
In Buddhism, because of the awareness of karma, action and reaction, the concept of rebirth remains, and there is the acceptance that the soul moves from one body to another. On the Western side of the tree, we see how, from the path Abraham has shown, another branch appears. With Abraham there was just law, and now another messenger appears pointing out the need for the balance of love with that law. Judaism has described the laws of God, and has shown Him as the fearsome Jehova, with whom there is absolute justice. But there is also mercy in the Supreme Father, and this quality of mercy, founded in the quality of love, is demonstrated by the appearance of Christ, and we see the development of this new branch.
It can be seen how each of these branches begins with complete unity and purity, so the powerful pure message brings great help to millions. But with the passage of time the purity of their messages becomes adulterated, although to begin with each messenger has served a purpose and given souls an awareness that was previously missing.
On the Western side of the tree, the semitic side, there is the awareness of one God and love for God the Father. We can see the development of the other side of the world. From the trunk, the Deity religion, came the Hindu religion with its idol worship and the beginning of corruption. We see how the branch of Buddhism emerged as the Hindu religion continues to decay. From the empire of Hindu Kings another great branch appears - the branch of Sanyas, the branch of renunciation first established by Shankaracharya. His message of renunciation is most appropriate for the period of history when there is just the indulgence of the physical senses without concern or responsibility. There is the power of purity in the lives of the sannyasis so that, although the overall stage of the world is one of decline, their power helps to sustain the world and keep the tree alive.
There is Abraham, Buddha, Christ and Shankaracharya. Moving to the western side again, another prophet appears. His name is Mohammed, and his message is very simple, clear, direct and most essential. Judaism spoke of the one Incorporeal and showed a total rejection of idol worship. With the coming of Christ, love and attention were to a certain extent, diverted from the Incorporeal, towards Christ. So the message of Mohammed - that there must be the remembrance of only One, there is only one God. His name is Allah. All others are prophets. So this is a reminder of the one Supreme Father. Indeed, this message is taken so seriously in Islaam that no images whatsoever are shown; there is just the decoration of the mosques with script. We can see the great need for this branch to appear.
In this time of the Copper Age, all the great world religions have appeared on the world stage, and each branch flourishes. However, by the end of the Copper Age, divisions have already appeared. There is now a split in the theories. Some interpret things on one level, others differently. Although there was one message and one messenger, human interpretations vary. The tree continues to grow and we come to the period of the Iron Age. Now many branches appear, but they cannot be described as world religions so much as sects, cults, and 'isms'. As the Iron Age, or Kaliyuga moves towards its end, a great number of tiny twigs appear and every day brings another new cult or ism. By this time all the original, major branches have also reached a point of decay. Not only is there the variety of interpretations, but there is a vast difference between the original preaching and the practical activity of those who now preach it, or profess to follow that faith. No longer does a Buddhist follow the footsteps of Buddha; no longer a Christian truly Christ-like. Further, there is even the questioning of the message itself, and doubt and confusion arise as to its validity. Thus the tree enters a stage of complete decay. The branches which once sustained the tree have become weak, and the foundations of the world religions seem to be crumbling. It is the end of Kaliyuga, the Iron Age - the end of the old tree. Souls who originally belonged to the Deity religion have moved through a cycle of eighty- four births. Eight births in the Golden Age, twelve in the Silver Age, twenty-one in the Copper Age and forty-two in the Iron Age. With each birth there has been further loss of power and now at the end of the Iron Age, all souls, including those of the original Deity religion, have become very weak.
When this old tree can continue no further, the seed, God the Supreme, appears. The Seed incarnates on earth and through His teachings, lays the foundation for a new tree. Out of the old tree comes the foundation of the new tree, and the sapling for the new world planted. Those who are the leaves of the old tree, the souls of Kaliyug, experience transformation and become the foundation for the new world. This comes about through a change in consciousness, and then a change in sanskaras, the personality traits. But the destruction of the old tree must also take place at the same time, so that on one hand, there is the foundation of the new tree through the message of the Supreme and the power of Yoga, and on the other the destruction of the old tree. This occurs in different ways. The old tree goes through great upheaval due to natural calamities; earthquakes, floods, and great violence in nature. There is confusion amongst human beings and this leads to anarchy and civil strife - signs of which already apparent. Then the tree is finally made to topple with the power of nuclear weapons. Once the old tree has fallen the sapling, which has already been established, begins to bloom. The new world, the new tree, begins and the whole cycle starts once more.
Before Returning Home…
First, in this cyclic pattern, there is the period of liberation in life, or 'jiwanmukti'. Then there is the period of the Copper Age and the Iron Age which can be described as 'jiwan band' - life of bondage. And at the point of destruction, all souls experience the journey back home, the place of 'mukti' - liberation.
There is then the question: before I return home, how can I settle all my past karmic accounts?
It is possible to settle them with the power of yoga. However, if this has not been done there must be some other sort of settling before I can experience liberation or 'mukti'. In such a case, the soul settles all its karmic debts in front of God the Supreme in the subtle regions, and only then can it return home to the world of silence. All souls in that incorporeal world are like seeds with their future roles latent within. All souls are eternal, so, although the old tree has been destroyed, only the bodies have perished and the souls are in fact liberated from their lives of bondage. Destruction has brought an end to distress. It has meant liberation so that souls in that world of silence are totally free, experiencing 'mukti'; they are in peace, with their roles merged within themselves. Yet those souls who have prepared the foundation, who have been digging at the roots and preparing for the Golden Age, are filled with divine sanskaras. Those divine sanskaras bring them from the incorporeal world to experience life here at the beginning of the beautiful new tree, the beginning of the Golden Age.
Suggested Thoughts for Meditation.
With the power of pure thought … I go beyond my physical costume … this body … I travel to the World of Light … the Home of my Father, the Supreme Soul … I bathe in the light of Baba … my Father … I am filled with such peace … such calmness … such stability …Baba is the Ocean of Love … I drown in that love … I become that love … and the fire of that love burns and dispels all that is negative within the soul … and I am filled with the virtues of God.Baba is the Ocean of Knowledge … the Seed of the Tree … As I come to this my Father … my Teacher … I am filled with all Knowledge … all understanding … I see the significance of the Drama … I see the role of all actors …Now I am content … for all is revealed … I am the peaceful soul.
In what way is God the Seed of the Tree?
What do the separate parts of the Tree represent?
What happens in each of the four ages?