Fires of knowledge: Ashes of wisdom

Shiva with Vibhuthi on his forehead from Myths of the Hindus & Buddhists (1914) Author: Nivedita, Sister, 1867-1911.
Shiva with Vibhuthi (ash) on his forehead from Myths of the Hindus & Buddhists (1914) Author: Nivedita, Sister.

Ash is a product of fire.

When fire burns, things perish. Ash remains.

As a symbol of purification, ash is the essence that remains when all else burns away. Carl Jung speaks of such things. He says:

‘Ash’ is an inclusive term for the scoriae left over from burning, the substance that ‘remains below [1]

Ash, as a symbol, is closely linked to the innermost Self (Ātman). The Self, like ash, is that which “remains below.”

Continue reading “Fires of knowledge: Ashes of wisdom”

Advertisements

Vishvarupa: Cosmic Man

Vishnu as the Cosmic Man (Vishvarupa), Jaipur, Rajasthan- c. 1800-50. US Public Domain, Wikimedia
Vishnu as the Cosmic Man (Vishvarupa), Jaipur, Rajasthan- c. 1800-50. US Public Domain, Wikimedia
In Symbols of Transformation, Carl Jung speaks of the ‘cosmic man’, drawing upon a passage from the Shvetashvatara Upanishad:

“Without feet, without hands, he moves, he grasps; eyeless he sees, earless he hears; he knows all that is to be known, yet there is no knower of him. Men call him the Primordial Person, the cosmic man. Smaller than small, greater than great ….” (cited in CW5, para. 182)

Continue reading “Vishvarupa: Cosmic Man”

Purushkara Yantra: in the deepest layers of the psyche the world itself is speaking

Purushkara Yantra with Sanskrit syllables, Rajasthan, 18th century. India. Gouache, opaque watercolor paint, on silk. 18th century. Public Domin in India via wikimedia.
Purushkara Yantra with Sanskrit syllables, Rajasthan, 18th century. India. Gouache, opaque watercolor paint, on silk. 18th century. Public Domin in India via wikimedia.

The image above is of the Purushkara Yantra. This is a cosmic man figure from the 18th Century.  The cosmic body contains the different levels of being.

Yantras such as this one offer a means of Self-realization in the Hindu tradition. They are used in meditation along with a mantra for Self-realization. The yantra represents the relation between the macrocosm and the microcosm. Through meditation on the yantra, one turns within to discover he cosmos within. The Mundaka Upanishad (8:1) speaks of the cosmic man:

Continue reading “Purushkara Yantra: in the deepest layers of the psyche the world itself is speaking”