This is a transcript of the lecture given by Bodo Balsys in Bangalore at the Indian Institute of World Culture on the 5.12.2017
My way of thinking is Buddhistic, most of my books are on Buddhism, however I was a member of the Theosophical Society in 1968, and utilise the derivation of this Society’s philosophy, especially that of Alice Bailey and that of Helena and Nicholas Roerich. I have written seven books on Buddhism, which presents a advanced form of esoteric Buddhism. Presently I am trying to integrate Buddhism with Hinduism, but this is difficult, because Buddhists do not ascribe to the Hindu concept of ātman, referring to a ‘permanent Self’ an aspect of Brahman, whereas Buddhists use nairatmya, meaning ‘no Self’. This is one of the main dividing aspect of the two religions. However, presently I am writing some books on esoteric cosmology, and in utilising Blavatsky’s Cosmicogenesis in her Secret Doctrine I need to use the Vedas and specifically Advaita Vedanta, because Hinduism is very good when it comes to concepts of the creation of the universe and Buddhism is very poor.
One of the things I found that interrelates Buddhism with Hinduism, which was a pleasant surprise to me, comes from the Taittirīya Samhitā of Kriṣṇa Yajor Veda (126.96.36.199), which states:
The Gods are mind-born yoked to the mind, have the blissful power of discrimination (dakṣiṇa) and are the children of discernment.
This is a very Buddhistic, Yogācāra statement, (that came long after the teachings of the Vedas), which states ‘All is mind, comes from mind, and is resolved back into mind’. Regarding this one of the concepts I used to have concerning the distinctions between Buddhist and Hindus was the concepts of the Hindu deities, conceived as Gods (Śiva, Viṣṇu, Brahmā, etc.), which Hindus worshipped, whereas Buddhists would have none of that. However when any of you look at Buddhist Thangkas (paintings) then you will see depictions of ‘deities’, of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, ḍākinīs, Wrathful Deities, feminine Consorts, etc, which many Buddhist similarly worship. All of that is described as ‘Mind-born’, existing upon the sambhogakāya level of existence, and on the diagram I would have shown you, you would have seen what is meant by the sambhogakāya level, which is the higher mental plane.
When we go to the same Veda, which says that ‘the world of Gods is interwoven with that of human beings’, and relate this to the world of meditation we will see that the entire concept of meditation for the Hindu is identification with some of the deities or with Brahman, which is neuter (which is very similar to the concept of śūnyatā, Emptiness, or spaciousness). It is thus quite important in meditation to conceive of what the mind is. In fact the meditation process first of all concerns working upon the mind and eliminating the saṃskāras, the predispositions causing attachments to phenomena, ephemera. With the philosophy I use there are seven planes of perceptions and some of you may be familiar with the Blavatsky schema, first we have ādi, the highest of the planes, which means One-ness, singular, and the next one below is anupādaka, meaning ‘parentless’, etc.
Now the Buddhist philosophy is much concerned with the concept of impermanence, and all of you are aware of the nature of the effects of impermanence. Attachment to impermanent, transient things will cause suffering, simply because of the nature of transience. Sexual attachments, etc., are not lasting, so we have the cycles of pleasure, pain, suffering, pleasure, pain, etc., where the Buddha presented a way out of this (the Eightfold Path), the key being meditation.
When the Buddha was directly asked whether there was a God or not, a Soul or not, he remained silent, refusing to answer. The reason for this was that the truth is somewhere in between permanence, which the Buddha absolutely shunned, and transience. In my writings on Buddhism I endeavour to explain what exactly is that which ‘exists between’, and so we get the concept of relative permanence, the concept of the time scale of the existence of the most minute, smallest possible unit to that of a cosmos, which has a life span of say 15 billion years. Thoughts are things and they also have a transient permanence, and your life span has limited permanence, everything has a life span, then dies. This is found also in the Hindu concept of the trimūrti of the Creator, Preserver and the Destroyer (Brahmā the creator, Viṣṇu the preserver and Śiva the destroyer). The creation of thoughts, preservation of thoughts, and the eventual destruction all of the thoughts in meditation, is also veiled in these three deities. It does not matter whether you are using Buddhist or Hindu meditation, all ascribe to the same general principles. The three guṇas are there, and with the guṇas you get the iḍā, piṇgalā and suṣumṇā nāḍīs.
The main concern is what manifests upon the abstract level of the Mind (the sambhogakāya level), the realm of the ālayavijñāna enlightenment, whereon one can retrieve past lives and to project to the future. At first the aim of meditation is to be able to see this continuity of consciousness. The first three volumes of my 3,500 page Treatise on Mind lays the foundation for and explains this level, where exists a form, which I call the Sambhogakāya Flower (tathāgatagarbha). It does not have the permanence of an ātman, as it is born, and also an eventual demise, but has a relative long-lasting permanence, as this form is responsible for the process of rebirth, whilst its death happens upon the attainment of śūnyatā, where we have a state of no-mind. The concept of this Flower is given in the Ratnagotravibhāga Śāstra, where the concept of the Buddha-Womb (the tathāgatagarbha) is explained. Within the tathāgatagarbha there is the nirmalā and samalā tathatā, the undefiled and defiled tathatā (Buddha nature). Buddhist texts do not properly explain how the tathāgatagarbha becomes defiled and undefiled, but the process is explained in my books. The activity of meditation acts to produce the nirmalā (undefiled) tathatā, hence overcoming the rebirthing process.
With respect to this in relation to meditation one must look to the third of the planes of perception the mental plane, which is divided into two, first the four sub-planes of the empirical mind, with which most of us think with and from which science and technology is derived. There is also the three abstracted levels attained as one develops the enlightened Mind.
In meditation one is trying to bridge a gap in consciousness between the lower empirical mind and the higher abstract Mind, the domains of enlightenment, and this bridge is called the antaḥkaraṇa. One builds projections into the abstract Mind, beyond empirical thinking, that the materialistic universe is all there is, thus becoming intuitive. Intuition is the inner knowingness, the Voice of Silence, listening to the Heart, beyond the domain of the empirical mind, hence the attachments to the concrete mind must go. As one does this one cleanses the saṃskāras, the tendencies developed in the earlier part of our life. They are the attachments we have to materialism, sex, etc., as well as the attributes developed in past lives, such as dogmatism in a religion, the willingness to burn people at a stake because of their beliefs. That type of dogmatism can move through as a saṃskāra into the present life, where the same dogmatic aspect can manifest, e.g., in scientific materialism, which becomes the real to them. All of these saṃskāras must be transmuted and refined. It is similar to the distillation process, like distilling oil, where the black substrate remains at the bottom, and increasingly refined elements, such as petrol, rises to the top of the fractionating unit. In our bodies this unit is the spinal column bearing the threefold nāḍīs and the chakra system. There are seven main chakras, each of which is a distillation unit, from the base of the Spine centre to the sahasrāra padma (Head centre).
One needs to properly comprehend the plane of the mind, the astral plane, and the etheric double, as well as the five Elements, Earth, Water, Fire, Air Aether. In Buddhism the seven chakras are considered as five because the Head and Ājñā centres overlap, as well as the two base centres. We thus have the attributes of the five sense-perceptions to be mastered, until eventually the Wisdoms of the five Dhyāni Buddas are obtained. The refinement process produces the bridge building. The three abstract sub-planes of the Mind have at their centre the Sambhogakāya Flower (tathāgatagarbha), sometimes called the ambiguous word ‘Soul’, hence possibly the concept of the ātman, but differs from it. The Sambhogakāya Flower is impermanent, lasting for the duration of the symbolic 777 incarnations, and is eventually destroyed at the attainment of śūnyatā, whereas the ātman is considered ‘permanent’. There is another aspect of the human psyche, the Monad, meaning ‘singular’, a cosmic entity upon the second highest plane, which can be more rightly related to the ātman. Though more appropriately the entire complex from the Monad to the ‘Soul form’ better approximates the ātman. When one has attained union with the Monadic form then one has become a Buddha and can leave the earth sphere altogether into cosmos the dharmakāya. In this concept lies the basis of an integration between Buddhist and Hindu beliefs.
In Buddhist philosophy the abstract Mind possesses the attribute of Clear Light, pristine consciousness. When a thought enters that Mind it instantaneously completely sees the true nature of that thought. This is the enlightened Mind, and the next step beyond that is śūnyatā, called Emptiness, which is an energy field, something like a mirror, but is mirrored both sides, reflecting cosmic Mind (the dharmakāya) or what some might call the Mind of ‘God’ (which is open to interpretation) or Brahman, into the Clear Light of Mind. People have fought wars over the concept of ‘God’, but these concepts are eliminated once one has the experience of dharmakāya. Śūnyatā does not distort in any way, or add to this experience, it simply reflects into the quiescent Mind, as well as reflecting upwards the distilled essence of one’s experiences. Śūnyatā is an energy field at the heart of every atom, the stable base allowing saṃsāra to exist, it doesn’t interfere, but simply is the eye of the cyclone of constant saṃsāric activity. Being the heart of everything, so one can think that the creative process, symbolised by the appearance of hiraṇyagarbha (the ‘golden egg’, a cosmic form of Sambhogakāya Flower) emanates from it, hence it can be equated to Brahman. Śūnyatā is the source of Love, because it integrates everything in the universe (thinking in terms of the local galaxy) into one-ness, a unity within the Emptiness. The empirical mind may comprehend it this way, though śūnyatā is not mind. The abstract Mind can however reflect the experience of śūnyatā into the world of illusion, saṃsāra.
All meditators need to comprehend that whilst using a empirical mind, the distillation process needs to be mastered, via the various yoga stages, from hatha, bhakti, rāja yoga, etc. Hatha yoga means control of the physical processes of the body and bhakti yoga the mastery of the emotional body. The bhakti concept, such as union with Kṛṣṇa, involves a duality, the perceiver and the perceived, the devotee and the ‘God’. In the higher forms of yoga, one enters into a non-dual meditation and into a consciousness-bliss, ānanda, pure spaciousness, inevitably into what Hindu’s call Brahman, and also what the Buddhists may call śūnyatā. Devotion however is necessary because it is the backbone of the principle of Love, without love one cannot rise out of empiricism. Love is what liberates, love is the bliss, which is called bodhicitta in Buddhism. Citta is mind, and bodhi is the compassionate aspect that moves all towards enlightenment. Bodhicitta is the Mind of enlightenment, the force of liberation. Through refining consciousness one moves towards śūnyatā and when that energy enters into mind it works to destroy the fabric of mind.
Śūnyatā reveals the Logoic Mind. Logos meaning that which embodies the Creative Word, the power of mantra. From mantra everything proceeds, as explained in the Vedas. That is why the precise pronouncing of the words is so important therein. It is also the esoteric science, Secret Mantra, in Buddhism. Mantra assists the bridge building to the higher domains.
Normally for most meditation teachings given, one needs a preceptor providing a mantra to recite, both in the Buddhist and Hindu paths. Mantra helps to throw out the unrefined, unregenerate gross substance that prevents attunement to the higher planes, aspects of consciousness not needed in one’s meditation life. Through cleansing saṃskāras one also deals with eliminating forms of karma, which is not properly understood in both Hindu or Buddhist religions. It is a belief system until the mechanism is understood. Karma has always been at play to produce the refined consciousness we now have. The flow of rebirth, from being animal-men, highly sensual, with low intelligence, and much violence, to our highly evolved consciousness that thinks about liberation, the origination of cosmos, Brahaman, etc, is a product of karma.
Residual saṃskāras, the inherent attitudes from ancient times, still exist. Many still have some inherent violence, governments like taking your tax money to build air craft carriers, airplanes, the war machines, so that they can kill more people ‘over there’, and so on. This cave man mentality hence is still in our societies, the cleansing of which persists. Those of us that meditate, have peaceful lifestyles, endeavouring to be loving to all, thus are learning the precepts of the gurus. The karma and saṃskāras have been refined through millions of years, but still aspects remain. Everything is relative and it is good to think in terms of relativities in one’s thinking, for instance, Logoi of solar systems were once human units as we are now, but in former solar systems before the earth was formed. They have become great Minds in the sky. Instead of going through a long slow evolutionary process to get ‘there’, meditation greatly hastens the process. There is an evolutionary process that will eventually make of us Logoi embodying an earth sphere. We will eventually manifest as Īśvaras (etc.). That is where karma will lead us to, via our meditative attainment.
A problem lies in one’s emotional body (the astral body) because probably 90% of the world’s ailments lies in the way people uses their emotions. A major problem in meditation is kāma-manas, mind (manas) fused with desire, and emotions. That kāma aspect must be eliminated, the emotions must die, then the Clear Light of Mind can arise without distortions. The emotions instantly distort, preventing clear perception, they relate to the personal will that self-identifies with the ‘I’, ‘me’ ‘mine’, which is contrary to the development of the force of Love. The meditation process is a process with identification with the all, of unity, hence emotional thinking prevents such attainment. The emotions are also the cause of sickness and diseases because through the emotions, one tends to overeat, eat unhealthy foods, get into arguments, manifest a critical mind, jealousies, etc. These defilements, kleśas, must go. Few people can imagine what life would be without the emotions, but in an enlightened Mind the emotions cannot exist. They prevent the attainment of serenity, of the ability of being able to see the past or to determine the future. Hence most of the battle in the meditation process concerns overcoming one’s emotional proclivities.
The centre of the emotions is the Solar Plexus centre (maṇipūra chakra). It has ten petals, and can be considered to represent the five prāṇas pointing upwards and downwards into the field of desires. This centre is that of the personal I, the personal will, which is used by people selfishly, for instance to make a pile of money, so that they can have a better house, car, etc, but that is not the purpose of the meditative lifestyle. The sadhus for instance, have renounced all of that, they go into the forests, caves, monasteries, and work to appropriately master this centre by renouncing materialism. Of course we need to live in society and need money so that we can live, but we don’t need excessive amounts of it, unless we are going to use it to help others in society. This is the main reason for having an abundance of resources, and the energy of bodhicitta can work with that, but we don’t need multi-crore rupees (or dollars) to say build ostentatious Ashrams. They may help devotees, but do little to help the people living on the streets. This type of thinking is part of the Bodhisattva path (bodhi meaning enlightenment, sat, being the eternal, and va is the vehicle of all that). A Bodhisattva is one who has vowed to not gain the final end of enlightenment until all sentient beings have been relieved from suffering. The world needs many more who thus vow to fix up the ailments in society, rather than the selfish ones concerned with their own wellbeing, or ‘individual’ enlightenment.
The enlightenment-Mind concerns one who meditates upon how to relieve all from suffering, the basis of all the teachings of the great saints in the various religions. Separative thinking, in all of its attributes, must vanish if one is to gain enlightenment. The will-to-good must be generated, where one wills oneself to help others, rather than self will. The will-to-good eventually manifests as the will-of-love, which I also call bodhicitta, where every fibre of one’s being manifests so as to help others. This is the liberating will of enlightenment. Group consciousness is hence achieved. When one is properly the path then one finds those with whom one has been travelling with for millennia. The centre of such a group will be a great Bodhisattva, a jīvanmukta, Rishi, enlightened sage. Together such a group evolve as a unit towards the enlightenment that will eventually produce the integration of that group with the All that is a Logoic Mind in manifestation.
One can consequently see that self-focussed enlightenment is really an error in perception, hence those that aspire must think more universally than they do. When doing so they increasingly break up the boundaries of self-limitation. Such are the great ones, and it does not really matter whether you call them Ramakrishna, Yoganada, Jesus or Milarepa. They attract to them the disciples that can travel according to the laws of group evolution, and together they work towards the enlightenment of the all whom they have incarnated to serve. It is all based upon past life activities. The guru has incarnated and attracts those with whom he/she has served before. Hence what you all need to do is to not be so self-focussed, because self-focus produces limitation, it circumscribes the possibilities of your enlightenment.
Such meditation is destructive to the meditation Mind, it may produce phenomena, called siddhis, but can lead to the left hand path of the black magician, rather than the white path. This is a dangerous procedure. The white path produces the evolution of a Logos, and a Logos is not just a singular entity, but a whole hierarchy of such beings. In Buddhism such a being is said to have built a Buddha-kṣetra, a Buddha-field, with vast numbers (koṭis) of Bodhisattvas around Him. Such is the way of the path of enlightenment, away from the ‘I’, away from the ‘me’, away from the self-will. Later on the way to enlightenment cannot be gained through the use of the will, the will must be surrendered to the manifestation of the Divine Will, sometimes known as ‘surrender’. This does not mean surrender to the will of the guru, but rather of your consciousness to manifesting Divinity so that it no longer offers impediment to impressions from the higher Mind. The force of enlightenment, buddhi, dharmakāya, sat-chit-ānanda, manifests instead. Later one surrenders to attributes of the Logoic Presence.
Many seeking the meditation-Mind want an image of deity, proof of God, deities, guru (in what Buddhists call Deity yoga), but once found, they all must also eventually go. What is here implied is that the ideas of ‘things’ must be eliminated. Once the mind has an idea of something then the substance of the mind moulds itself around that, and this limits the onset of enlightenment, as that is what you see. The problem here is the astral plane, the Element is Water, and as soon as you manifest such thoughts, Watery substance clothes the image. This is a major problem upon the path. The astral pane is built of innumerable such images, such as Kṛṣṇa with his flute, Śhiva, Ganesha, Christ, etc. These images are empowered with the energy of the devotees throughout the millennia. Many meditators or devotees experience such images as a form of exhilaration, ecstasy, from the energy imparted into those images. The images may also be seen in bright light, but this is put into their making not the Real and in time must also be countered in meditation. The astral plane is constituted of myriads of such thoughts, hence the world’s heaven and hell states were similarly created, to which people go to after they die. What people have created thereon is the ideal form of what they would have liked to live on the earth, whilst the hell states are created by people’s mass selfishness, hatred, spites, etc. All are fields of karmic expression.
Hence in the world of meditation there is a vast scenario to master, once some of the internal eyes (chakras) with which to see have been awakened. The entire astral plane must also die. Enlightened beings no longer reside therein, they have died to all of that, but may go thereto sometimes as a field of service. However there is a cosmic astral plane, the primal Waters of the creation myths wherein the stars evolve. That vast ‘incomprehensible’ realm is what is experienced by the higher enlightened Initiates. They are preparing to go there after their earth service is finished. This cosmic world of the enlightened ones, has hardly begun to be revealed to humanity.
The quest for self-discovery will eventually lead one to cosmos, but not the cosmos that scientists observe. That exists, but one enters into a multidimensional universe constituting of countess Logoi, of varying degrees and realms of unfoldment. A really staggering vision, earth spheres, stars, constellations, galaxies, all evolving together in one unified meditation-space, which can be accessed through the process of transmuted correspondences. All reincarnate together, hence all have karmic interrelations. It is a cosmic Meditation-Mind that one enters into, but all such entities once went through the human stage that we are presently undergoing, and they have gotten to where they are through meditation. They embody the higher transmuted correspondences of the states of awareness that we can access now.
 R.L. Kashyap, Hymns of Creation, (Sakshi, Bengaluru, 2011), 11.