Contemplating Sri Yukteswar's The Holy Science

Sri Yukteswar who grandfathered the path of Kryia Yoga through his most famous disciple Paramahansa Yogananda, wrote that he had a vision of an immortal master Babaji who tasked him to write a book revealing the unity of all religions, in particular Christianity, based on yogic science, the most fundamental mystical principles.  In his introduction Sri Yukteswar writes:

"The purpose of this present volume is to show as clearly as possible that there is an essential unity at the basis of all religions, that there is no difference in the truths inculcated by the various religions prevalent in the world, that there is but one method by which the world both external and internal has been evolved and that there is but one goal admitted by all the religious books." Sri Yukteswar, The Holy Science (link)
His astrology is a cosmological astrology based on Sankyha philosophy (see article).  My research is basically a validation of that, seen from every angle and mystical tradition around the world, to the best of my knowledge.

I think it is important to remember that Sri Yukteswar is an important figure (from the view of nakshatra research) as an enlightened practitioner of Jyotish but all we have is this one book, The Holy Science, and Paramahansa Yogananda's reference to it in his Autobiography of a Yogi and in his volumes on the Bhagavad Gita and the New Testament.  The Holy Science is a very short and cryptic book laying out the most fundamental components of life through the eyes of mysticism, or one mystic, and astrology is only a minor part in it, and mentioned in the first chapter in relationship to the yugas or major cycles of creation.  I am very wary of how easily his views have been misinterpreted and I claim no expertise either.  This is all conjecture on my part based on my own inner research and the teachings of my own Guru Sri Vasudeva.

The Four Sections


In this book Sri Yukteswar emphasizes the four most fundamental components of life.  In fact he organized his entire book around it:
"The book is divided into four sections according to the four stages in the development of knowledge."  (introduction, The Holy Science)
Note that he does not explain exactly what the four stages in the development of knowledge are.   One is supposed to read the entire book and contemplate it and extrapolate the greater meaning.  Fortunately I have Sri Vasudeva's teachings to understand what this means, that there are fundamentally four possible layers to perception and these are the waking, dreaming, deep sleep, and turyia states of consciousness.  Through spiritual evolution we move from a gross physical level consciousness "I am the body" to an astral subtle consciousness "I am my thoughts and emotions" to a causal subtle consciousness "I am my memories" to the supreme witnessing state of the liberated soul that is beyond the pull of body or mind, lives in a blissful space of Self-identification and witnesses the other three states.  All three states can be glimpsed in meditation by anybody!  Only the liberated one is able to hold on to the fourth state and lives in a perpetual turyia titta, a transcendental witnessing space - with the ability to be fully engaged in the other states at the same time.  Life couldn't be more amazing!

Thus Sri Yukteswar places cosmological astrology in the first chapter, and explains the higher states of consciousness as the blueprint for our manifested physical gross material "reality".  Consciousness is at the root of everything, when Consciousness moves Energy is created.  This is how Purusha (Conscious as the Creator) produces Prakriti (Energy as Nature, the visible universe that we perceive through the senses).

But he writes that the four sections of his book correspond to the four stages in the development of knowledge.  What does this mean?  Again I refer to Sri Vasudeva's teachings.  The development of knowledge can only be the path to wisdom.  Sri Vasudeva has defined wisdom as intuition when it leads to Self.  We are all born intuitive - at the level of the human body it is built into our system for survival, these are the survival instincts, that gut feeling we get at the level of the body and stress/pleasure-pain responses stimulating chemicals in the brain.  Is that wisdom?  It the body's own wisdom but it is not true wisdom - because we are not the body.  And mind is not the brain, not a bunch of chemicals, but of our soul.  So there are higher levels of intuition.  But wisdom only begins when the Kundalini is awakened in the sushumna nadi - whether one knows it or not - because I agree with Sri Vasudeva that Kundalini is responsible for ALL SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES.  This is the Holy Ghost Sri Yukteswar refers to in his book and the tiny bit of mysticism that Christianity has accepted in its Bible.  The Kundalini awakened in the sushmna nadi becomes the inner guide, the power of God to take us deeper within ourselves in the evolutionary journey back to Pure Consciousness - the purest place of knowing.  That is what wisdom is.  And the path of wisdom has three stages: listening, absorbing, and realizing.

So the cosmological astrology of Sri Yukteswar is the level that we begin with on our evolutionary journey, the perceived universe, the gross level, and following an esoteric map that is the same everywhere - following a universal holographic principle (again from Sri Vasudeva's teachings) - that what is in us, is also in every atom and also in the entire universe.  This was known since ancient times and got codified into a cosmological astrology where planets and stars and their relationships and movements and numerological patterns became associated with mystical processes inside all of life - processes that are the foundational blueprint for all of life.  And quantum physics is headed in that direction.  Behind the gross is energy and behind energy is consciousness.

The Four Ideas & the Cosmological Circle


In the cosmological circle template that seems to be the foundational concept of the universe in ancient times (see post) we have the idea of the four quadrants of the circle, ruled by the guardians of the four directions - and there are all kinds of concepts about this from different traditions.  The fact that we have an upper and lower and left and right brain is merely one of the manifestations of this fundamental 4-fold organizing principle (which continues to be subdivided - and gets us to the 7x4=28 divisions of the lunar mansions).  This four-ness of life is of profound significance. Remember that The Holy Science is structured based on that.  It is worthy of contemplation here.

Sri Yukteswar speaks about it again from the context of the unconditional love and bliss of the Divine out of which creation began in the macrocosmos:
"The manifestation of Omnipotent Force the Repulsion, in its complementary portion Omniscient Feeling - Love the Attraction, is vibration which appears as a peculiar sound the Word Amen Aum; and in its different aspects presents the idea of change, which is Time Kal, in the Ever-unchangeable and the idea of division, which is Space Desh, in the Ever-indivisible, the effect whereof is the idea of particles - the innumerable atoms patra or anu.   These four viz. the Word, Time, Space and Atom, therefore, are one and the same and substantially nothing but mere ideas."   
Sri Yukteswar, The Holy Science, 1st edition, 1920, p.3 (link
And he also writes about the four yugas, and the four feet or padas of the Dharma cow that each yuga represents in its macrocosmic orbit that takes humanity as a whole through its involution-evolution cycles same as the reincarnating soul - this is TIME, Kala.  And these yugas are linked to the ages marked by precession of the equinoxes and the dominating zodiac axis of the time.  During Kali Yuga the axis has been from the virgin Virgo to the fish Pisces, as represented in the Christmas story and the axis from the 6th to the 12th house in the natal chart.  This is SPACE, the illusion the we are "on a journey" when it is all a dream of Maya and so we are "already there" and just need to "wake up".

What of Sound/Word and the Atom?  Here I think he is talking about the relationship between vibration (Sound is a vibration in a Space) from the level of the unmanifest to the manifest.  And that's why sound vibrations link soul expression through the petals of the chakras - travelling along the highway of nadis or energy meridians.  Sound is a form of prana.  Words carry power.  Words can take us home or can make us more deeply attached and caught in Maya's web.

Sri Yukteswar writes that the Heart is छित्त्वा chittwa and is composed of the four ideas (Word, Time, Space and Atom).  Referring now to Paramahansa Yoganada's writings in his volumns on the Gita, and to Sri Vasudeva's teachings - I know that चित्त chitta is mind stuff - that part of the soul's "brain" that stores the memories of lifetimes, that we carry with us from lifetime to lifetime.  It is in the causal "body" / "energy field" of our soul, that sleeping part of the mind that we cannot perceive directly (until we become the Witness in the turyia state).  This causal part of us has its own cerebrospinal brain and nervous system that eminates from that part of the heart which is known as hrit/hridaya (GV8-Magha) moving deep inside the sushumna along the brahmanadi up to the brain at the top in the Bhramarandhra chakra (GV20-Abhijit).  This whole thing is the deepest part of us in the mental part of us, the "I" part of us - but ultimately we are not that - we are Consciousness - the perception that comes finally at the crown.  So all of this is what I believe Sri Yukteswar means by the Heart.  It is our storage space of attachments - the Rahu and Ketu parts of us that exist in seed form (samskaras) waiting to sprout and drive us crazy (if we are not self-disciplined) in this world through the magic of karmic events.

Sri Yukteswar writes of the Heart:

"This atom Abidya the ignorance being under the influence of Universal Love chit the Holy Spirit (Kundalini) becomes spiritualized like iron-filings in magnetic aura, and possessed of consciousness the power of feeling, which it is called Mohot the Heart Chittwa, and being such the idea of separate existence of self appears in it, which is called Ahamkar Ego the son of Man."
Sri Yukteswar, The Holy Science, 1st edition 1920, p.6 
As Paramahansa Yogananda explains in his writings, whenever Jesus refers to himself as "son of Man" He means of the body.   It is the idea of body-identification, like when someone refers to you as a man or a woman, they are identifying you as the physical body, not the genderless soul that you are, not the unmanifest divinity that you are.  In this sense "son of Man" is derogatory and when Jesus the Christ (the enlightened son of God) was using the phrase he was basically being sarcastic - because people with ordinary perception can only see the outside of things, not the inner heart, and that which lies beyond even the heart.

The manifested universe, Sri Vasudeva tells us, is illusion - a play of Maya, created out of the bliss of the one-Self of which we are holographic components, a collective ego imagined as individual egos.  Maya was created out of the bliss (ananda) of the Self.  You and I are creatures of bliss (would only that we knew it) and bliss is our birthright.  Sri Yukteswar speaks of anandamaya kosha (bliss sheath) which exists at the level of this Heart - छित्त्वा chittwa  and is composed of the 4 ideas (Word, Time, Space and Atom) - and he is talking about our causal body at the level of the human experience, but also the causal body of the universe at the level of the macrocosm.

This is just a small contemplation of a small section of The Holy Science in which I tried to clarify some things related to Sri Yukteswar's intention in writing the book and how it might relate to the cosmological story I am researching on this website.

As with my other posts...it is a work in progress...to be continued...

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