Author Topic: Nama and Rupa - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Jan. - Mar. 2013.  (Read 1082 times)

Subramanian.R

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From the ultimate point of view, God has no name, no form;  'Words return along with the mind, not attaining it'.  (Taittiriya Up.
2.4.1.).  And yet, mysteriously, the Upanishad also says that the 'Name is Brahman.'  (Brh.Up.  4.1.2.). Ultimately names and
forms may be illusory.  But that does not mean they don't deserve a purpose.

Contemplate this:  the human body has eyes with rods and cones that are able to perceive certain wavelengths as well as color.
It possesses ears, a mouth, a nose, and skin that are able to perceive a certain fixed range of sensations.  Quantum physicists
inform us hat the physical universe is comprised mainly of empty space and matter is comprised of whirling atoms, protons, electrons,
neutrons, etc.,  These elements are energy moving at various speeds.  It is only because human beings have sense organs that
functions in a certain limited and distinct frequencies, that these energy particles appear as rocks, plants, animals, and myriad
physical objects.  It is our sense organs and mind that translate this energy into forms.  It is rather analogous to a computer
that is able to translate a string of zeroes and ones into letters and pictures that we can read on the computer screen.

Our eyes are sensitive to a very narrow band of frequencies within the enormous range of frequencies of the electromagnetic
spectrum.  This narrow band of frequencies is referred to as the visible light spectrum.  Visible light -- that which is detectable
by the human eyes  - consists of wavelength ranging from approximately 780 nanometer down to 390 nanometer. Specific
wavelengths within the spectrum correspond to a specific color based upon how human beings typically perceive light of that
wavelength.  The long wavelength end of the spectrum corresponds to the light that is perceived to be violet.  In a technical
sense, it is really not appropriate to refer to light as being colored.  Light is simply a wave with a specific wavelength or a
mixture of wavelengths.  It has no color in and of itself.  An object that is emitting or reflecting light to our eye appears to have
a specific color as the result of the eye brain response to the wavelength. Colors can be traced to the physiological and psychological
response of the eye-brain system, and not the light itself.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   
             

Subramanian.R

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Re: Nama and Rupa - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Jan. - Mar. 2013.
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2013, 09:17:51 AM »

continues.......

Thus, we may contemplate whether the names we employ and the forms we perceive are fundamental to Reality or are
merely the way in which we empirically perceive sense data through our sense organs.  Sri Bhagavan said, 'The One is
real, the many ar names and forms.'  (Day by Day entry dated 11.01.1946)

Somehow mysteriously the image of the Beloved has become 'visible' to humans.  The sweetness of Its Presence presides
over, and permeates, all of one's experiences.  The formless Beloved appears as the Master, the friend, the lover, the
Savior.  It meets us wherever our limitations give It a foothold.  It discloses Itself in a myriad names and forms. So, what
shall we name It. Naming is very serious business. It is an important and sacred act.  Who are you?  What is your name?

Sri Bhagavan said, 'Environment, time and objects are all in me.  How can they be independent of me?  They may change,
but I remain unchanging, always the same.  The objects can be differentiated by means of their names and forms, whereas
each one's name is only one and that is 'I'.  So also of a locality.  As long as I am identified with the body so long a locality
is distinguishable.  Otherwise not.  Am I the body?  Does the body announce itself as 'I' ?  Clearly all these are in me.'  (Talks
# 582.)

Sri Bhagavan said, 'These names and forms which constitute the world always change and perish.  Hence they are called
mithya.  To limit the Self and regard it as these names and forms is mithya.  To regard all as the Self is the Reality. (Day by
Day with Bhagavan, Devaraja Mudaliar entry dated 12.9.1946).

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                         

Subramanian.R

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Re: Nama and Rupa - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Jan. - Mar. 2013.
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2013, 01:46:48 PM »

continues...

In Sanskrit scripture, to giver someone a name is one of the sacred rituals or rites of passage, Samskara. One's name is the
means whereby which one is able to approach he named.  It is a means to reach the goal, for the goal is contained in the
means. Consciousness of the name lead to consciousness of the named.  As one thinks so one becomes.  Like a piece of
wood that has been placed in a fire, sooner or later the wood itself will turn into fire.  Likewise, a mind that is immersed in
God's name will eventually become the Divine.  The individual (jiva) becomes the Divine (Siva) through the Name. 'Meditate on
the Name as Brahman.'  (Chandogya Upanishad 7.1.5.).

Further, can you think of the word 'tree' without also thinking of its form?  There is an intimate connection between the name
and the form it represents.  A God has many names and forms: some hint at His / Her/ Its physical appearance.  Some hint
as His / Her/ Its attributes.  Some hint at His /Her/ Its insignia or mount or banner or function or personality, or temperament
or life-history.  They are His or Her calling cards, so to speak. The manifest universe is nothing but names and forms --- the
unmanifest Truth manifesting itself so that one may relate to it.  Each deity's name invokes salient features of that particular
deity.  They are vehicles of adoration.  They are the Divine appearing in the dress of manifestation.

In school, we use maps to help children understand their own country as well as the world. One points to various cities, states,
countries, rivers, mountains, and so on to convey knowledge about the physical world.  The map is not the country -- though
it serves as an aid to help convey the names, size, location, topography, and distinctive landmarks of various places.  With time
and maturity, the glory of one's country as well as the physical universe in all its details, may be made known.  Further, a road
map of London is not the actual soil of England, but it will convey to to one the knowledge of how to get there.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Nama and Rupa - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Jan. - Mar. 2013.
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2013, 09:20:27 AM »

continues.....

Names and forms are symbols, a lakshana, or identifying mark.  They are the means by which one knows anything, everything.
They are the "visible/knowable" sings by which the invisible is known.  All one's knowledge, one contact with the external
world, even the inner mental world, every aspect of life, is based on symbols.  Language is nothing but symbols.  Bhagavan
Ramana said, "The mind is wont to move move externally.  It  must be checked and turned within.  Its habit is to dwell on
names and forms, for all external objects possess names and forms.  Such names and forms are made symbolic mental
conceptions in order to divert the mind from external objects and make it dwell within itself.  The idols, mantras, yantras,
are all meant to give food to the mind in its introvert state, so that It may later become capable of being concentrated, after
which the superb state is reached automatically."  (Talks No. # 405).

Every object in the world, animate or inanimate, is a manifestation of the One Reality.  The realization and experiencing of
the fundamental truth is the true goal of life.  Until a person achieves this unitative Consciousness, one may begin seeking
to see Reality at least in one object through concentration upon that particular object as the Divine.   Bhagavan Ramana said,
"Sankara also said that this world is Brahman or the Self. What he objected to is one's imagining that the Self is limited by the
names and forms that constitute the world.  He only said that the world does not exist apart from Brahman." (Devaraja
Mudaliar, entry dated 29.05.1946)

Human beings have certain limitations. Not everyone can contemplate the Divine in its transcendent form.  For directing the
mind towards the Divine and keeping it steady during contemplation thereon, symbols are invaluable aids.  The mind must
somehow go from the concrete to the abstract.  It may be true that God is omnipresent, but for purposes of worship and
relationship, God is conceived as localized in a particular form.  There is nothing self contradictory in thinking of the transcendent
God as having form, no blemish attaches itself to the Divine as a result of this descent.  If, out of love, a mother stoops to pick
up her child, she in no way is bowing to the child.  It is an act of benediction, not submission.  By assuming a name, a form, it
is only a mark of God's compassion for the sake of the devotees.  Water has no color of its own or any particular shape.  But
it assumes the color and shape of the vessel containing it.  Even so, the Absolute may have no form.  But the mind that thinks
of It is a conditioning medium, it seizes hold and engenders a relationship;  it partakes of communion to the best of its ability.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Nama and Rupa - John Grimes - Mountain Path, Jan. - Mar. 2013.
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2013, 10:13:51 AM »

continues.....

Symbols attempt to bring the Divine within the grasp of the individual.  From the formless to the form, and and back again.
There is an oft quoted Upanishadic passage that says, 'Lead me from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light,, from
death to immortality'.   The passage is always from the known to the unknown. Spiritual
growth is a gradual transformation of the worhsipper into the likeness of the worshipped.  'As for one's faith, so one becomes.'
(Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.1.).     

Sri Bhagavan Ramana said, 'Whatever state one is, the perceptions partake of that state.  The explanation is that in the waking
state, (Jagrat) the gross body perceives gross names and forms.  In the Svapna (the dream state) the mental body perceives the
mental body perceives the mental creations in their manifold forms and names.  In the Sushupti (deep dreamless sleep),
the identification with the body being lost, there are no perceptions.  Similarly in the Transcendental state of identity with
Brahman places the man in harmony with everything with everything, and there is nothing apart from his Self. (Talks # 2).


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Arunachala Siva.