Purna Vedanta Yoga Gita
Murshid Samuel L. Lewis
(Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)
Purna Vedanta Yoga Gita
Dawn on the summit of Kailasa:
Parading Swift Asvins and their cohorts,
Aureoling bursting sun-galaxies,
With Aquarian libations of pure light,
Each personalizing a Supreme Buddha of Infinite Compassion—
Buddhas of history, Buddhas of pre-history, Buddhas to come,
Atlas and Quetzacoatl and Lords of the ocean-wanderers,
World-deliverers, World-protectors, personifications of Perfection,
Speaking through Lord Maitreya, Buddha-Avatar of this eon.
And there, a man postured in silent meditation
Who has accomplished, Who has succeeded,
Whose karmic dispensation has been ended,
His bodily elements suitably hangared,
His jivatman terminated in Nirvana.
Welcome home, O Hercules of this dispensation,
Sri Ramakrishna Parahamsa, master of passions and faculties,
Expert in the ways of heart and wisdom,
Excellent alchemist of ego-transformations;
Lay down this heavy burden born of willingness,
Now released from the labyrinths of karma,
Welcomed to the God-shore beyond the Sea-of-seas,
That you may feast upon these apples of Hesperides-Sukhawati,
Drink of the purified amrita,
Which has now become thy portion.
Sri Ramakrishna Replies:
Supreme of Buddhas, foretold deliverer of this age,
How can you offer to a simple scion of Bharata?
When myself have not travailed the Prajna-Paramitas,
Fulfilled the path of supreme tranquility,
Employed upayas, possessed the treasured jewels
Nor even volunteered the Bodhisattvic oath?
Without this oath, even without misgiving
I refuse me the final peace of Nirvikalpa,
The ultimate Moksha of temporal dissolution,
Dare not dissolve these shadows of transformation,
Decline to limit perfection-concepts to the Buddhas;
I refuse me the endless life in Parabrahma,
And if there be any remnant of self-will
Bow before the Supreme Mother of the World,
Nay, embrace Maya with all the passion of my being,
Seeking rather deliverance for mankind—
Not in some vague theory of sacred writings
But rather to face the terrors of Kali Yuga,
Schemed into vessels of transfigured destructability
From which men cringe …
Destruction still reigns supreme
With rivalries, hatreds and ambitions masked as idealisms,
And Furies rise within and without the bounds of nationality,
So the sway of Tamas would seem to be untrammeled
Save for this proffered balm of Purna Yoga.
Let me forego incessant delights of supreme felicity,
Theoretical absorption into vast calmness—
To aid the actual alleviation of suffering,
Semanticize the compassion of the scriptures,
Face the actual problems of an actual world,
Nor theorize upon the being or not-being of any Maya.
Lead me to a spiritual Aztec sacrifice,
Abandon the endless blessings of Sat-Chit-Ananda,
Return, if needs must be, to an earthy Ragnarok,
If thus I might assist the Being of the Universe,
If thus I might cooperate in conveying the highest salvation.
The Lord of compassion is filled with endless compassion,
The Lord of Wisdom is endowed with perfect wisdom,
The lord of Morality possesses a heart of sweetness,
But this ripple, this objecting, this train of impetuosity
Carried from time’s sphere to this,
From cycles of limitation to the transcendent,
Itself inhibits the Second Death:
No postulated soul to merge in a God of created fancy,
No line between thee and me, no division, no severance,
Only seeming separation in the field of magnetic activity,
In the categoried straining of time and space and akash,
In the movements of buddhi-aham-manas
Where elements have apparent choice of interplay.
Yourself by Buddha and all the emancipated is admitted
To speak and act freely henceforth and on.
What purpose Aryavarta but to house holiness,
To provide a series of ashrams for spiritual seekers
Where vibrations might accumulate around personalities,
Where rivers carry the emanations of blessings,
Atmospheres receive the overtones form subtler realms
And caves and temples and jungles become the holy refuges.
O Perfect among the Perfect this I ask:
May not a Jiva-Mukti operate beyond the bonds
Prescribed of circumscribed in Dharma and Saddharma
Who, having obtained the Union through Vedic practices
Or otherwise than specified in Tripitaka
Know within himself the Prajna-Paramitas?
Are the Jewels of Buddha, Dharma, Sangha specially reserved?
Are the treasures of Sila, Prajna and Dhyana
Properties of organized Bhikshus of lay Sramanas?
Are Nirmanakaya, Sambhogakaya, Dharmakaya realities?
If a devotee of Sanatana Dharma is refused
Because lacking in sadhana-attainment,
Is not equally a Theravadin or Mahayanist to be refused?
Are prescriptions in Pali writings eternal truths
To be hurled as weapons against the still imperfect
When few among the Buddha-worshippers have crossed to the other shore?
Must there be endless clash of philosophical sects
Who, judging other parties to be mere speculators,
Think to beguile by employing transcendent symbols
As if pontification were finality?
Is there such holiness in Prajna-Paramita of sanctity in Om
When groups of schools by specialized rites and ceremonies
Insist they have brought deliverance from delusion?
Given a substance—are not the penumbral affluences many?
Given an art-model, are there not endless copyings?
From the single the many, the many necessarily different.
Why then these long, interminable discussions
Often accompanied by dissimulation or even war?
From this superior peak I perceive the one and the many
Nor draw conclusions from direct experience,
Letting the experience stand.
Does not the awakened consciousness demonstrate itself?
Does not Sat-Chit-Ananda manifest in all the perfect?
Proclaiming or denying verbal formations
Only oneness I see.
This, O superior man of this age, is true:
This, to the superior of every age has always been:
True statements and acquisitions, untrue the conclusions
Drawn by minds sifting through the ego-meshes
Wherein drop only shadowy rays of luminous radiations.
Neither can there by differences between thee and me
When the threshold of me-ness and thee-ness once is crossed.
How can there be enunciation of complete beneficence
With the hollow condemnation of any short-comings?
How can holy compassion manifest
With lack of consideration for the unfortunate?
If thy wish be granted and there be coalescence,
Then, even if transformation is resumed
Transformation and emancipation shall be coeval
And all trace of dualism be erased.
No wish is mine without substantiation.
In the Buddha-Scriptures of the northern school
The affirmation of compassion is supported by arguments,
In which the lesser vehicle is so condemned
That compassion has faded almost to mockery,
Written in blood upon the pages of history.
In the Astika scriptures enlightenment is so confined
That the lower castes are confused with lower minds
As if the physical birth compelled an evolution,
Nullifying the very Japa-Yoga of the Vedas
Till cow-beasts were elevated above humanity.
Words about gods, words about God, words about liberation
Are equal in being alike mere noise formations
Carrying energies of only the lower kingdoms,
Affecting the nerve-stream of human consciousness
To its own undoing.
If a man experience samadhi, that is enough;
If a man by mastery obtain tranquility, that is sufficient;
If the pairs of opposites are actually overcome,
If Heart-sway overrules the ego-proclamations,
How can I condemn those whose paths are different?
Who reaches God, his heart and mind are one;
Who has obtained, we commune in Arya-Dharma.
This is the limited essence of Purna-Yoga
Which brilliantly may be proclaimed to all the world.
Grant me, O Lord, the testimony of Chaitanya,
Superior among the men of Bhakti-Yoga,
That from another source this be corroborated.
The embodiment of compassion behaves in accordance with compassion,
The synchronization of energy cannot be other than wholly merciful,
The personification of perfect love perfects his humanity,
The beau-ideal of affection is the wholesome warmth of the universe
Wherefrom out of my bosom, by the mere enunciation thereof,
Chaitanya re-collects the atoms and modifications of himself
Which appear and reappear according to the utmost heart-desire
For the benediction and benefaction of the cosmos.
The Vedic skeleton I am not, for words are but in chains,
The Vedic spirit comes in song, forever that song remains,
Sama Veda, Sama Veda, Om! Om! Om!
Divine Krishna, Infinite Bhakti, I come, I come, I come!
Lord of Creation and Lord of man, be Thou Lord of me,
The life within the life of life and I Thy devotee;
O final Goal, original Source, I come, I come, I come,
To sing Thy praise in endless ways or in a single Om!
The shadow I, the substance Thou,
I need no Bodhisattvic vow;
In dying I love, in living die,
In living and dying testify
That through the Vedic practices I
Entered into eternity.
Is this not enough? Once the Arya-Dharma is proclaimed
That the testimony thereof endures forever?
The many schools of affirmation, the schools of non-affirmation
Who perceiving agreements
Nonetheless set forth their particularizing ways
To divide, dissever and thus lead back through Maya’s morasses
By denying conclusions of many enlightened persons?
If through the Vedas, by the Vedas, in the Vedas
A single man reaches the opposite shore,
Must not the Buddha–Dharmas be reinterpreted?
Is Arya-Dharma made better through dissection
And Truth be analytically classified
That any orthodoxy of Prajna-Paramita
Or Tripitaka of sastras of puranas be sacrosanct
Without the attendant attainment of samadhi?
What value to acclaiming ceaseless love
Without the bosom cradling every being
Till the sage, through heart-passion for the World-Mother
Himself becomes the nurse-maid of the entirety?
Near to perfection through singing, and memory spotted my love;
Near to perfection through loving, and memory spotted my love;
Near to perfection through praying; holding too long to my prayers—
So the singing, so the devotion, the loving I abandoned
To Thee, Supreme Krishna, I abandoned I
To Thee, by Thee, in thee, attained I do Thee
Until the very abandonment was abandoned.
For my will I was a naught before Thee, O Lord!
But by Thy will I was to be all before Thee, O Lord!
By my refusal to be Thy all, my Lord, I blinded myself.
Nor recovered from this utter self-willed blindness,
Until Chaitanya became Krishna Chaitanya,
When the universe awoke …
Loving is love, singing is song, devotion is prayer,
And the vibrating heart is the all-in-all.
Compassion is affection, mercy is all-gentle,
Kindness is pure sympathy,
And the vibrating heart is the all-in-all.
Maya and I join in humility before Lord Krishna,
Dying in life and living in death,
For the vibrating heart is all-in-all.
The sacred scriptures have I become, their meaning now I know
O beloved Masters of gods and men, You call and I must go.
Sama Veda, Sama Veda, Om! Om! Om!
Divine Krishna, Infinite Sakti, I come! I come! I come!
Who was this Chaitanya? Who was this? What if I never know!
Supreme among mortals and immortals, You call and I must go.
O Source of being and final Goal, I am, I need not come.
Let me sing Thy praise in endless ways or in a single OM!
The Lord of Compassion does not affirm one school against another,
The Lord of Compassion does not affirm a single “against,”
Portraying the universe as he sees it, and as it is,
Welcoming to his bosom-heart all who overcome their egotism.
The proclamation of the right-fold samma is the Perfect Way,
Not proposing a verbal “right” against fanciful “wrong.”
For in perfection both these extremes must fade away.
Is there not a point of absolute no-light above which light exists?
Why disturbance over the nothingness of non-heat, hatred and darkness
Which comes with the perturbations below the ego-mind-mesh
In the endless ramifications of samsara?
Attempts to approve and promote dissatisfaction
Only bend the philosopher further to the wheel.
Since this is so, the apple of Ananda is refused,
The existence of a single Chaitanya or of many
Established a semantic norm for sainthood,
Not a formula sanctified by some ecclesiast,
Nor a presumable Master jail-chained to the Himalaya,
But a manifest person of recorded history.
Therefore I uphold the saintliness of Chaitanya
And the emblem of Ananda against dissimulation
Knowing by his being, the world is held in safety.
Rightly, Parahamsa, I must hold even against erstwhile devotees.
Not enough to proclaim my coming and dissolve the Eight-fold Path;
Nor proclaim my coming and hold to egocentric ways;
Nor proclaim my coming and ask me to uphold the world.
I may come to relieve through infinite compassion
Which, unaffected by many ignorant proclaimings
Calls for heart-evolution beyond the ways of the past
Nor can withhold the title of Bodhisattva
From any who have obtained the blessings of the Other Shore.
Therefore Buddhism is dissolved
And in its place teaching devoid of egoisms,
Deprived of pronouncements shrouded in emotions,
For the blatant scripture-holders return to samsara
And those who, announcing my coming,
Superimpose themselves to shut the door to salvation.
Therefore either must I come, be scorned and rejected
Or must I come to bless the whole race—nothing less.
Chaitanya is accepted by the Universe
Because he has accepted That which is.
Not a Void deprived of perfect qualifications,
But the totality of livingness beyond all attributes.
I do not call upon the past to testify,
But from the very being of the Universe,
As that Universe is manifested through me.
Though we may say that men are not and the universe is;
Though we may say that the universe is not and we are.
Though we may say that neither the universe nor men exist,
Though we affirm the existence of them both.
The emancipation from the limited “I” alone suffices
So that scriptures become true when men see them in trueness,
And scriptures are of less import when evolution is incomplete.
There fore, O Lord, before the apple of Chit-knowledge is considered,
May the soul of Holy Krishna be resummoned,
Who has offered us more than we may assimilate.
The universe is the almighty, unlimited “Yes,”
And once a will is proclaimed that will suffice
For the heart-suns are not divided as are the physical stars,
Nor the differences of name-form applicable to substance.
Therefore thy wish is, is not granted, it is the very truth—
Thus the essence of Ekayana.
The light has manifested in the samsaric darkness
And the darkness has apprehended it not;
The darkness has appeared before the samsaric half-light
And the half-light has comprehended it not.
Because the wholeness is so totally blinding.
I came as the shadow of all things, not their luminescence;
I came as the Black one and therefore am known as Krishna,
That men looking into my face could see themselves
That women looking into my face could behold their beloved.
Because traditions uphold the supremacy of casts,
I became a treasure-hunter of cow-dung,
Hiding my loftiness in filth where none could follow.
Men may offer them the surplus of the sacrifices,
But I in self-sacrifice, offered everything.
So my people and society were thriving,
Wherein I hid myself and am known as Krishna, the Dark One.
O Kali, who in later times became the emblem of Divinity,
How few have penetrated through Thy mask!
How few behold the identity of holiness and horror,
And the Lila which has staged the universe.
Was there a time in which true love was not?
The printed Vedas stand as testimonials
In the sphere of verity and vitality,
From times beyond even times of ancient lineage,
Proclaiming the conjoining love which is all-in-all,
Whence the Divine Mother, by her omnipresent zeal
Fills all true lovers with her amrita-milk—
Heart-born, heart-fomenting, churched into knowledge,
Wherefrom I became the sun of deliberation,
My disciples the moon and stars of heavenly glory.
I was touched and touch and so reinvigorated Dharma,
The ageless coin in reverse of modern Vedanta,
Reinvigorating the world by bodily appearance,
Avatarizing myself in greater of lesser forms
That India might become a gigantic Ashram,
Whence the dharma might flow to the nether parts of earth.
Finding religion a nuisance, I eschewed the bonds of discipline;
Finding discipline a hinderance, I drenched myself in love,
Through love becoming the spirit of bliss and harmony,
Incarnating the music of all the worlds,
With the negative darshana of the darkened face,
Whereby motherkind, regarded as the lesser,
Could look and behold beauty in that mirror,
The mirror of the totality of negation.
I incarnated as the lowest of the lowly—
That princeliness which has been ascribed to me
Has been the greatest hinderance to my mission
So, in these later days it became my mission
To pour my spirit again into humility
Though one who would eschew the proud and lofty,
Bow before the prostitute and outcaste
And bring the world to realize my Nearness
Through and in and out of every form,
Discovering God the Father, God the Mother, God the Love
Again and again and again and again and again.
So has spoken the archetype, the deliverer,
And can it be denied as to his status.
What matter doctrine of philosophy
If by love through love complete love is acquired,
If by love through love complete knowledge is acquainted,
And love and knowledge passed onto posterity.
O mightiest among the Saviours, this I ask:
Can there be distinction among those Arrived?
The paths upon the mountain be so circumscribed
That one’s very first steps impel a road of fixity
Wherein man is compelled with no exception
That purity, morality and self-assimilation
Avail not without some special passwork?
Sects I condemn only as they may condemn their rivals,
Neglecting to see the universal ways to finality.
If Truth may manifest within a single person,
Is not thereby the whole of mankind emancipated?
This, verily, was the purpose of further manifestation,
That deliverance become a universal communion,
That not any ego known as Gautama or otherwise
Achieve through lasting privation and upaya
To a supreme state separated from the race.
That if that were so, no later communication
Could suffice to raise one to the freedom of the Arhat,
And scriptures would testify in vain,
Writings either obscure of before the Way.
This failure of the Scriptures I readily admit,
Therefore re-state the purpose of the Eternal Light,
That there is a Way to overcome imperfection,
To rise above incessant trouble and disease,
Applicable alike to men and nations,
Aye, even to sooth the madness of the earth itself,
Which rebels in earthquake, storm and volcanic action,
So there is no assurance of any security.
The preservation of the calmness of the heart,
The realizing which persists in every true Yoga—
That is, the journey of God to God in God
And not the mere adherence to special practices,
Is the need of the world, and has been so always,
The ways to the mountain peak may be without limit,
Being many yet one, with sameness and variety
Even as we find in all manifestation—
One and many, alike and different, as the cells within the body.
These cells within the body constitute a unit,
So all apparent souls within Dharmakaya,
And the various grades of evolution and being
Reveal the secret of the “separate” and “togetherness,”
That such words as “being” and “not-being,”
Void and fullness, thingness and no-thing-ness
Are mental phantoms before the One Reality.
Since we were one, are one and ever persist as one,
Need I seek the Apples of Chit or Ananda?
And before I deny me the fruit of the Truth-of-Being,
May I face in friendliness or debate
That most supreme of Bodhisattvas, Nagarjuna,
Conqueror of the serpent and of ignorance,
Who, finding the reality beyond proclamations,
Himself noted confusion in words and words beyond confusions
A source of deep concern to the enlightened,
A source of endless enigma to the ignorant.
It is correct to clarify existing confusion,
Confusion of heart, confusion of thoughts, confusion of words,
And most of all, I consider it incumbent
Upon the various Patriarchs of Arya Dharma
Who set forth the theories of Bodhisattva,
Lest this emancipation remain a theory,
Leaving the wounds of pain and injury and bitterness to remain.
Philosophy can never be morality,
Nor speculation the manifestation of prajna,
Tying coat-tails to rationality and misleading
Disciples, even though they practice dhyana.
Why should I resort to verbal explication
Unless that world-unfoldment be effective,
Delivering us from the miasma of samsara,
And presenting deliverance as one more seine
To catch and keep us in the world of shadows.
Now I come to end the reign of shadow-words,
Therefore, O spirit of Nagarjuna, come,
Place yourself before the mirror of the age,
Repeat, if you will, that which you have asserted.
I need not bidding.
What I sought to establish has been well, and ill:
When through philosophy philosophy is cast out, philosophy remains.
What is the Buddha-Hridaya? Words cannot touch it.
The mandala is superior to the book, meditation to the mandala,
The Eight-Fold Path a brilliant single whole.
Who proposes nihilism? What is this men call thing?
The electron theory had been quickly by-passed,
Dissected and analyzed and differentiated—
Show me a single thing without interposition of mind?
Is wood a cause of furniture or the carpenter?
Is mind the cause? Or is there a special cause?
What foolishness these men of mind have wrought!
How could I depict what manifestly is not—
I mean is not because it lacks experience.
That which is in time is temporal, in space spatial,
Of the chemical elements chemical, of physical forces physical—
Overlapping of not, combining or not,
Each remains as if of a limited arena
And being limited, cannot bring deliverance.
Trueness is beyond both Sunyata and Asunyata,
The specific fields of philosophers are limited,
Caught as they are in movements of the mind.
To them is the Sravaka superior and the Yogi,
Who are as nothing before the Arhat of the Rishi.
The beginning of Hridaya is not its completion
Nor did I negate anything but negation.
Earth is composed of pencils and furniture,
Machinery and forests and bugs and plastic bodies—
Forces have tempered with the original structure,
Making things from that which was in essence,
And so with structures and superstructures,
Of various aspects from the atom up to Brahm,
Existences within the categories of mind regarded as real,
Existence beyond as neither real nor yet unreal
Until the labyrinths of minds and tongue-utterings
Are proclaimed before the unsuspecting heavens.
Therefore I cautioned a Way, neither mental not material,
Nor within the generalities of philosophers
Bound and tied by their self-propelled samskaras,
Nor perceiving that which are really empty symbols.
Give me the reality. Give me truth which we become,
Become, transcending all descriptions.
If neither mind nor matter not self persist,
Then did you live? Or living pass to finality?
What is this mind and matter and existence?
What is this birth and death, living and extinction?
Are all our efforts to describe the sky, the sky?
What is the hamsa-bird? The simurg? The garuda?
Rising above limitation, how can we portray
That which is boundless in terms of limitations?
My terms of limitation more limited than their sphere?
If X be a function of Y, can Y be a function of X?
Is the unknown in the terms of the known really “unknown”
Or the inconceivable of philosophers really achintya?
What does the philosophical language tell?
Where is the ending of all this confusing clamor?
Why do you speak, if this be so? Why did you write?
Unless … unless, my brother, you have become free,
Writing thereof as if it were the herenow,
Knowing the goal to be much more than the herenow,
Yet knowing it not separate from the herenow?
Wherein do we differ?
In time, in space, and in the clamoring of disciples.
Such words are vain, such claims are false—
How could you summon if not in that true consciousness
Which neither can be proclaimed as “self” or its extinction;
In trueness we are the One, the Ekayana.
I must disclaim my followers who philosophize;
I must disclaim sravakas and Pratyeka-Buddhas;
I must disclaim the Prajna-Paramitas
Whose consciousness embodies the perfections,
But makes a separation in this Oneness;
I must disclaim even my animosities,
Lost in that superb transocean of Felicity.
Knowledge is but part; Compassion is the All.
And if I call the bodies Sat-Chit-Ananda,
If I name the All or do not name it,
Having through perfect unfoldment of my purposes
Obtained that union with Brahm which Gautama admitted,
But which some ignorant followers have denied—
Then you and I are one
And all the transient belligerence of temples
Reflect nothing but loud echoes within samsara.
Is not the Path itself the sign of purity of life?
Whether the eight-fold form of Patanjali or Buddha,
And was not the variation of Sankaracharya
Nothing but an effort of reconciliation
Which failed because of blindness on both sides?
Now I must assert beyond blindness and sight
That every being is, as you say, Nirvana itself,
That both the positive and negative are vain
If they veil the consciousness of egoicity.
What matter details if one be liberated
And becoming One with Reality beyond name-form,
Expresses in word or arts or does not directly express
That which we both admit is indescribable?
Verily this is so.
Therefore, O Lord Maitreya, I place the Purna Yoga
As the ultimate reconciling of every faith,
Not a substitute effacing of the Yogas
Utilizing the name of integration,
But destroying the traditions of the past,
But that which reconciles and brings together
All the modes and forms of liberation,
And all beings who have entered the union,
Which is the purpose of every living soul,
Because it is the soul itself—Sat-Chit-Ananda.
Peace is proclaimed. The apples are yours, enlightened one.
A Bodhisattva indeed. No need of further commentary.
Simla, 9 August 1956