The Cosmic Mandala

a talk by Avatar Adi Da Samraj

from Easy Death, Chapter 24

I.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: It is more or less common knowledge, at the present time, that you are not merely seeing what is external in this room. Your seeing is, in fact, an electronic apparition, developed in the nervous system of the brain. You have no direct connection to the gross object, or objects, that you are seeming to view at the present time. In other words, you are having a vision. You are not merely seeing a gross environment, but you are having a vision of a gross environment.

Likewise, your sense of being physically embodied is communicated to you through the electronics of the nervous system. You are experiencing an apparition, an electronic sense of being identified with a gross physical body. The position in which you are experiencing perceptions is an extremely subtle position. You seem to be possessed of very gross, tangible objects of attention, but none of the objects with which you are associated are actually gross and tangible to you. They are all electronic apparitions.

Because of the tendency to be identified with the body, and also because of all the taboos associated with conventional consciousness in this world, people do not investigate, or thoroughly explore and "consider", the status of their own experience in any moment. Therefore, when they have uncommon experiences, such as near-death experiences or even mystical experiences, they interpret and modify those experiences, or only move into certain kinds of experiences, because of limiting tendencies or presumptions of mind.

Mind is not merely in the brain and less than the brain. Mind is the circumstance of limited consciousness in its association with objects of all kinds. Mind is universal, infinite in extent. And if you put yourself into a position to explore the roots of experiencing, you are going to enter into a realm of mind in which you realize mind to be greater than mere daily thinking and social consciousness.

Those who take up the discipline of Yogic mysticism learn in the process to become responsible for the tendencies of mind and attention that cause certain experiences to arise, or cause attention to gravitate toward one or another kind of phenomenon, or cause limiting interpretations to be superimposed on experience. Through the science of Yogic mysticism, living beings can enter into a pure perception of the mechanism of human existence.

By contrast, the spontaneous experiences of people in the near-death condition are really impure perceptions of the mechanism wherein experience is arising, because those who experience them are not completely responsible for attention, and, therefore, for mind. Likewise, in the ordinary waking state, because of the conditional limits of attention, people are engaged in an impure perception of the present phenomena of ordinary waking consciousness. They do not directly enter into an awareness of things. They are living out a conventional destiny based on un-Enlightened presumptions of born existence in this world. People do not typically enter into subtler phenomena, or the mechanisms that are the source of gross experience, and, even if they do, whether intentionally or unintentionally, they tend to enter into them via irresponsible attention-or attention that is habituated to a limited state of self-identification, limited associations, and mind-forms that are developed in the un-Enlightened drive of the individual for consolation and survival.

But in the near-death experience, and in the death experience, which will come to everyone, attention moves directly into, through, and beyond the subtler mechanism of the brain and nervous system, and then, ultimately, into the Source of phenomena, mind, and the mechanics of attention. The Source of phenomenal appearances is a great Power. It is Love-Blissful Energy. It is called "Shakti" in the Hindu tradition. It is Maya, or the binding power of creation. It is a dimension of the Transcendental (and Inherently Spiritual) Divine Being, in Which you inhere, and with Which you are, ultimately and Perfectly, Identical. But because you are related to That with Which you are ultimately Identified, and in Which you inhere, on the basis of an already presumed limitation of being, you do not live on the basis of Identification with the Divine Self-Condition.

The situation of conditionally manifested beings in this world is typical of conditional beings in all worlds. You are presuming a limited condition of being, based on identification with attention in your current state of embodiment. The embodied attention is surrounded by a massive psychic form or individuated state of energy. And each of you is living out that condition in the gross plane of embodiment. You have the opportunity, in the subtler range of your existence, to explore more subtle conditions of existence and even the Ultimate Divine Self-Condition of all existence. That opportunity is directly available to you in the present moment, but you are dissociated from it through the habit mechanism of attention. Likewise, in sleep, in dreams, in reveries, in near death, in death, in your life of aspiration and creativity, in all kinds of moments, you are thrown out of the circumstance to which you are tending to bind yourself habitually, and you have the opportunity to perceive, or intuit, That Which is Ultimate or Divine.

But the state of your attention, which is a mechanical gesture of individuated consciousness within the frame of conditional possibilities, determines your experience. If an individual enters into the near-death state or the actual death state in a moment of Spiritual maturity, having (through real self-transcending Spiritual practice) become responsible for the mechanism of attention, so that the body-mind is in a state of equanimity and attention is inherently free, then whatever secondary phenomena may occur, the Primary "Phenomenon" will be directly obvious.

What people are seeing in the near-death state are mind-forms, or tendencies of mind. The tendencies of their attention are causing them to gravitate toward apparitions in the universal realm of appearances. Thus, people do not generally report a direct awareness of the mechanism whereby phenomena are arising. Rather, they describe secondary visions.

II.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: If attention were free to simply see the universal mechanism in which the phenomena of near-death experiences are arising, however, what would be seen is a Mandala of light, or light-energy, made of concentric circles.

In the Tibetan Book of the Dead, it is said that after death a person will immediately enter into the Clear White Light. This is the White Brilliance, the primary Light from which all colored light comes prismatically. The curve is the sign of the crystalline prism that is conditional existence, which breaks up the Whiteness into colors. Just as a rainbow is red and yellowish at its outer edge, then blue toward the center, the outer field of the Mandala is golden-yellow with reddish or pinkish colors at its periphery and blue toward the center. But at the most distant central point is the White Brilliance.

In death, attention moves directly into the White Brilliance. If people talk about seeing down a tunnel when they are entering into the near-death state or the after-death state, generally the tunnel is the indigo field that surrounds the blue. As they enter into the blue, they seem to pass down a long tunnel made of the indigo field. Then they see into the blue field itself, and if they do not become involved in the blue field, they will see beyond its possible visionary phenomena or apparitions. The blue field itself will seem like a tunnel that moves into the distance and may even curve slightly to the right, so that the White Brilliance seems to be directly ahead of them, but just slightly around a curve. The light even looks as if it is shining against the left wall. That White Brilliance is not merely objective to attention. If It is Divinely Recognized, It is Realized to be the Native Self-Radiance of Self-Existing Divine Being, or the Transcendental (and Inherently Spiritual) Divine Self. Only if it is Realized as such will attention enter into the Domain of Whiteness and stay there. That is Divine Translation, or entrance into the Divine Self-Domain.

But human beings are controlled by the mechanics of attention. They are already identified with lesser states by virtue of the habit of attention. Thus, as it is said in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, if there is no ability to remain in the White Brilliance, or the Clear White Light, other apparitions will immediately appear. The Tibetan Book of the Dead describes a developing sequence of apparitions, at the end of which occurs re-embodiment in the gross plane. The book is in fact a record of the real investigations and real experiences of highly Spiritualized individuals who had the capability to enter fully into the process of death and life. The process they describe as the return from the White Brilliance, or the Clear White Light, to embodiment is in fact inevitable in nearly all cases.

Cosmic MandalaEach of the levels of this Great Mandala of the Cosmos represents a quality of energy, or light. In each of the rings or portions of this Mandala that move out from the central Whiteness are infinite numbers of possible worlds and kinds of embodiment. In this gross plane in which you now exist, you are at the outskirts of the Great Mandala of the Cosmos at this present moment. There are grosser conditions of awareness, grosser possibilities, than the present one, which may be called "hells", or degraded states, or states of embodiment less than human. They may appear as forms of worlds other than the present one, as well as states in the plane of this gross world that are not necessarily apparent to vision.

You are presently existing in the outer frame of the Great Field of the Cosmic Mandala. Unless there is responsibility for attention, there will be no movement closer to the Center. Unless there is Divine Enlightenment, there will be no permanent residence in the Center, or the Source, of the Cosmic Mandala, and there is no permanence anywhere but in the Source. All possibilities, all forms of embodiment and experience in the planes of manifested light, or the rainbow of the Cosmic Mandala, are temporary.

It is possible to live a long time in any plane. It is even possible to live a long time in this gross world under certain conditions of Yogic transformation. It is possible to appear as an ordinary human being in this world for hundreds or thousands of years. Typically, people live for just a few years, but they could live longer. To live longer is not to Realize Divine Enlightenment—it is simply to live longer. It is possible to realize a state of relative equanimity, in this world or in any other world, and to live more peacefully, more happily, more pleasurably, more sensibly, more sanely. Even so, so to live is not itself to be Divinely Enlightened, nor is it a permanent condition. Sooner or later life comes to an end.

Subtler worlds exist closer to the Center of the Cosmic Mandala. Even in the golden-yellow ring there are subtler worlds closer to the Center. In the blue field, there are all kinds of worlds. In general, to live in any of the worlds closer to the Center is to live in a condition that is more benign, with greater powers and with a greater range of phenomenal possibilities, than the usual life in this gross world. But to live in these worlds is not to be inherently and Divinely Enlightened, Free, or immortal. Nor would immortality be desirable in those planes, because there is no Ultimate Happiness there, even in the state of equanimity.

Equanimity is simply the sattvic, or balanced, condition in any realm of possibility. Equanimity is not an end in itself but simply a ground on the basis of which attention is relatively free. What you do with attention on the basis of equanimity is the means for the transcendence and transformation of destiny.

could stop here

DEVOTEE: Beloved Adi Da, you have mentioned that there are worlds for each color in the rainbow. People have said, for instance, that they have gone to green worlds.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, every kind of possibility exists. Everything that mind can be can also be objectified as a world. And in each realm, each stage in the Cosmic Mandala, all the colors are potential.

When you enter into the subtler energies or mechanics of the visual system of the brain, you may visualize this Mandala. That visualization is not the same as the viewing of the Cosmic Mandala Itself. Under certain conditions of relaxation and dissociation of attention from the body, it is possible to see this Mandala by pressing the eyeballs and concentrating toward the Center of the brain. What you see then is the Cosmic Mandala, but it is the Cosmic Mandala represented at the level of the structure of light associated with the brain and the nervous system. It is a kind of personal version of it, therefore. Because the Cosmic Mandala is duplicated in every fraction of all appearances, it can be visualized in the structures of your own brain. But after you pass through that limiting structure, you see the same representation of light beyond the brain, through other media of phenomenal appearance.

People who are near death and people who are having a low-grade mystical experience will see the Cosmic Mandala in, and limited by, the plane of the brain. The vision of the Mandala would not appear if the brain were not still active, or if the conscious being were not still attached to the body. But if, when you see that representation (as you may in certain mystical states and in the transition to death), you concentrate upon it and hold to the Center, then you will also pass beyond the brain into the cosmic dimension of light outside the brain. By concentrating on this representation of the Cosmic Mandala in the brain, you can move beyond the brain, even while alive, to see structures beyond the brain, in the realm of mind, or psyche, that is cosmic in scope.

If you do not hold to the Center as you concentrate on this Mandala, you will not see the complete Mandala. At first you may not see it at all. You may just see a dark field, with flashes of light, or lightning, or geometries. Then you begin to see the Cosmic Mandala appear by degrees. You may at first see a golden, sunlike light, or you may see a silvery-bluish, moonlike light. Or you may see a reddish light, or lights of any color. They may appear as a relatively diffuse or generalized field, rather than a spot at the center. The degree of concentration and freedom of attention from the body and the diffusing mechanisms of its brain determines the degree to which you will clearly see the Cosmic Mandala in total. Whether the entire Cosmic Mandala or only a portion or a representation of it appears, if you do not continue to hold to the Center, you will not see the rest of it, or you will not see it clearly, or you will stay in the periphery and not go to the Center. To the degree you do not hold to the Center, and to the degree you do not visualize the Cosmic Mandala completely, you will tend to gravitate as attention, or as mind, into representations that develop in the different fields of the Mandala.

Thus, if attention is held in the golden-yellow field, visions will begin to appear in a golden-yellow field. Or you may pass through the tunnel of the indigo into the blue field. But then the blue field itself, instead of appearing with the White Light at the Center, will appear to be a room or a place at the end of the tunnel. Originally what is seen in the blue field, apart from the White Light that appears in the midst of it, is a place of churning forms, a kind of bluish plastic. But other, very strong, clearly defined, primary colors and shapes also appear in it. It almost seems like a clearly defined room when you first see it, but then, when you clearly visualize it, you will see that this blue field contains something like distinct forms, but that they are not really separate from one another, and they are moving around. As soon as you dwell upon the blue field, the mind will cause it to turn into particularized forms. Attention will move via mind, in that particular plane of the Cosmic Mandala, into places, visions, and environments. Environments may thus be entered into in the blue, or the golden-yellow, or any range or representation of this Mandala.

This is why I have recommended to My devotees that the best discipline at the point of death, or in the midst of the death process, no matter what they have done all their lives, is to relax and to release all hold on the body and the mind and states of attention through feeling-Contemplation of Me. Transcend fear through such surrender, and ultimately a visual representation of the Cosmic Mandala may appear. If it does, keep your attention to the Center of it. Do not be satisfied with lesser representations of the Cosmic Mandala, such as a golden light, or a bluish light, or any other light. Keep holding to the Center until the entire Cosmic Mandala appears, and keep holding to the Center until you move into the White Field. Even though this exercise will not be sufficient for moving permanently into the White Field, it will be a purifying gesture that generally will serve your transition and that is, therefore, positive.

In any case, attention will tend to gravitate from the White Field back into lesser planes and visions. You will see other individuals. Helpful people will appear, and you will move into another condition quite naturally and easily. It happens in every case.

These transitions after death are not all pleasurable, however. All kinds of uncomfortable apparitions and apparently hellish circumstances may appear. Circumstances may arise that apparently will justify fear and sorrow and anger and desires of all kinds, and you will tend to locate there for a time. The secret is to keep surrendering these reactive emotions and their desires and keep holding to the Center, not fixing on these visions but understanding them as mind, as possibilities determined by your own habit of attention. Relax that habit of attention. The more you do this, the more you will release the quality that is tending to arise, and you will minimize the stresses that may be associated with the transition.

In any case, sooner or later a relatively fixed condition will arise based on the limits of your ability to release and transcend the mechanism of attention. In that condition, whatever you may or may not remember about your practice of surrender, or self-transcendence, you will be embodied, fixed, related. That is precisely what has happened to you here.

If you can achieve a state of Spiritual maturity and responsibility in life, then you will not experience the utter lapse from responsibility and general intuition of the Awakened Condition at death and after death. You will possess the arms to transcend attention in whatever condition arises after death. Likewise, you will have those arms during this lifetime if you will "consider" the Way of Adidam and take up its practice. Your experience will more and more authenticate, verify, and justify the Way of Adidam.

However, the experiences associated with Spiritual practice are not significant in and of themselves. They are, in general, just objectified states of attention, or mind-forms, states of energy. You must understand them, release them, and move beyond them.

Until attention is Free in its Source, it cannot remain in the Divine Self-Condition. You are brought into that Condition at death, but you do not and cannot remain There, in spite of your belief in It and your desire to stay There, unless you have done the sadhana, or real Spiritual practice, whereby you become responsible for the habit-energy of attention and Realize its Source-Condition. That Realization requires profound clarity, devotion, commitment, and practice.

Thus, it is very unusual for any living being to pass from this world, or any other world, into the Divine Self-Domain and to remain in that Source-Condition. People can have temporary experiences of It, however. For example, in near death and death, experiences of this Mandala of Origination can be generated, or a temporary perception of this Origin may be experienced. It is always there to be glimpsed.

At death there is a movement into the Clear Light, and there may be temporary experiences of the Clear Light while you are alive as well. But you will not have the ability to remain in that Condition, or even to Realize What that Condition Is, except to perceive a Clear Brilliance and feel a sense of temporary freedom, unless you are responsible for the movement of attention. In spite of any secondary desires to remain there, you will automatically drop back from the position of the Clear White Light into the planes of existence, through the blue and the yellow into the gross condition again. This is absolutely inevitable. There are no two ways about it.

No vicarious means exist for escaping that inevitability. No mere belief in Jesus, or God, or any superior power is sufficient to move you into the Divine Self-Condition. No amount of knowing about the mechanisms of that transition, no amount of knowing about the mechanisms of the arising of experience, is sufficient to enable you to move beyond these limitations into the Divine Self-Condition. Only the actual practice of the transcendence of attention, wherein its limiting tendencies are overcome and it achieves the freedom to "Locate" itself in the Divine Self-Domain, is sufficient. There is absolutely no other way to be Liberated from the binding conditions of the cosmos.

To casually presume you will begin with a little improvement of life and a positive aspiration and belief and hopefully awaken to the capability for Liberation is a weak proposition. It is an excuse not to practice. If you truly understand the process, you will realize that you have no option but to deal directly with the mechanism of attention. The Way of Adidam is not the piecemeal path of the progressive stages of life. It is not the path of the devotion of attention to phenomena, high or low in the scale of conditional Nature. As soon as attention is devoted to objective manifestation, either in the form of this apparent gross realm or in the form of any subtle apparition, it is subject to the binding power of the objectified force. The objectified force of conditional Nature, even the objective White Light, has the effect of binding you until you are free of the egoic significance of attention.

Therefore, the Way of Adidam is most direct. It is not the path of the stages, fulfilled by moving attention into subtler and subtler dimensions of objective existence. It is the direct Way of returning attention to its Source. If the Way of Adidam is taken up, then the path of the stages is bypassed. In order to take up the Way of Adidam, however, it is necessary to be prepared for such direct practice. You do not become prepared for it by taking up the practice of the stages of life. You prepare yourself by restoring equanimity to the body-mind and freeing attention from the binding concerns of the body-mind, through self-surrendering, self-forgetting, and self-transcending feeling-Contemplation of Me.

This is a much simpler proposition, and it forms the basis of the culture of practice in the Way of Adidam. This culture of practice is a culture of preparation relative to the first five stages of life, wherein the body-mind is restored to equanimity, and attention is freed of its binding association with the body-mind. Then, when the body-mind is thus balanced and attention is thus freed, you can actually take up the practice of the direct submission of attention to its Source.

III.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Divine Enlightenment, in the seventh stage of life, is the Great Way of Adidam. It is the Way that I have come to Reveal. It is the Great Condition of existence. It is the spontaneous Way of life that is lived by those who have Awakened to the Divine Self-Condition. Previous to such Divine Awakening, human beings have the capability to move as attention into the Mandala of the Cosmos, and into subtler states, but they do not have the capability to enter permanently into the Divine Self-Domain, Which is the Perfectly Subjective Source of all conditions. But once Divine Enlightenment is the case, then there is the capability to move into the Divine Self-Domain. It is possible to be Divinely Enlightened in any domain. In the seventh stage of life, a Divinely Enlightened being can appear in any domain whatsoever, in any one of the levels of the Cosmic Mandala. But until there is Divine Enlightenment, it is not possible to transcend all domains.

The Great Siddhi of Divine Enlightenment is the capability for free attention. It is the most useful ability, and the ability that human beings develop on the basis of their primal motive toward release. The unpleasant mood that is un-Happy, fearful, wanting to be released, is your best advantage in the embodied condition. That desire to be released becomes the capability of free attention when you really exploit it and devote yourself to it. In that case, the motive to release ceases to be merely an unpleasant disease. When you acknowledge the motive toward release and make it the mover of your life, you transcend your seeking and your bewilderment. You become associated with real practice, real responsibility. Then that motive toward release becomes the simple movement, or capability, of free attention.

That is why the unpleasant mood, or primal motive, toward release is so valuable to you—not for its own sake as a mood, which is relatively unpleasant, but because, once you really use it and reclaim it from its dis-eased and un-Happy condition, it simply becomes free attention, or that which is inherently free, inherently released, and, therefore, that which inherently satisfies the motive toward release.

IV.

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: Attention moves in a great electronic field, a three-dimensional realm of little electronic dots. Attention in itself is one dot, in one position in this moment and in the next moment in another position, not just on a two-dimensional screen, like a TV, but in a three-dimensional realm of an infinite number of electronic dots. Attention can move to any one of those spaces instantly, without moving through everything in between. Attention is just the point of awareness, keyed into a great electronic medium that has the capability to represent itself as solid appearances, or just light, or appearances of energy, or darkness, or nothingness.

Truly, the entire affair is absolutely terrible. It is a horror to contemplate. The only thing that makes it not seem horrible to you is your capability to achieve a state of relative equanimity in your present condition. You can balance yourself, feel relatively relaxed, and enjoy something like a pleasurable feeling, but you are still not immortal, Divinely Enlightened, Free, Happy. You are just intoxicated with equanimity. That is why equanimity is not an end in itself in the Way of Adidam. It is simply the base for free attention. You must do something with your attention, having realized equanimity. You must not just hang around in a sattvic state, righteously enjoying your balanced condition. That condition will last only as long as conditions permit it to last in this world, and it will cease at death. Because all kinds of influences can interfere with it, your equanimity is not an end in itself.

To bring the body-mind into a state of equanimity is useful. In equanimity, the body-mind has secondary associations that are pleasurable. But basically equanimity is only useful. In equanimity, your attention is free from bondage to those conditions that are now in a state of balance. Thus, you must use equanimity as a disposition on the base of which you can Realize the Source of attention.

Your conditional, or apparently individuated, consciousness is just like a point moving in an infinite, three-dimensional crystal, or plane, or sphere, of dots. It feels individuated, separate, and trapped. Wherever it is, it sees everything around it. Wherever you look, everything surrounds that center of looking. In the next moment, you are in this spot, or that spot. There are always the surrounding forms, motions, and energies. You are trapped as this little point in the midst of them.

You must take attention away from its preoccupation with, or bondage to, this infinite medium of dots and let it fall back into the Contemplation of its own Source. When that is done most profoundly, then there is the inherent, or tacit, spontaneous Divine Recognition of the Infinite Field in Which this mechanical act of attention is being moved. Then, whenever attention does move, and wherever it moves, its condition and its objects are inherently, instantly Divinely Recognizable. They are still what they are as an appearance, but they are Divinely Recognizable as unnecessary and non-binding modifications of their Source-Condition. They do not have the capability to destroy Divine Enlightenment, or the Realization of the Truth. Even so, you must persist in this Power of Divine Recognition. It is a kind of Yoga of Divine Enlightenment. Unless you persist in it, attention will simply continue to arise mechanically in this great crystal, or Mandala. And, Divinely Enlightened or not, the environment of limitation still exists.

Thus, in the Divinely Enlightened Disposition, you must exist moment to moment as the Siddhi, or Power, or Disposition, of Divine Recognition. This Power will Divinely Transfigure, Divinely Transform, and Divinely Translate attention and its field into the Divine Self-Domain. Therefore, ultimately, all of that will be replaced, or Outshined, by the Divine Self-Radiance, the White Force in Which it is appearing. The environment of appearances is only an apparition based on the mechanism of attention. If attention is transcended in its Source, the environment of appearances is Divinely Recognizable. If the Power of Divine Recognition is magnified, then all these conditions will be Outshined by the Divine Self-Radiance That is the Source of cosmic Nature.

That is Liberation. That is Divine Enlightenment in Its ultimate sense. The Siddhi of Divine Enlightenment guarantees that Liberation. Divine Enlightenment Itself is certainly Liberation, but It is not an end phenomenon. It is the Native Condition. That Native Condition is a Siddhi, a Great Power, Which permits you to transcend the limiting force of the Cosmic Mandala. That is the esotericism of the seventh stage of life. That is the Process to which all those who respond to Me are being Drawn. It is That to Which you are invited. But you can only participate in That if you actually live the Way of Adidam, achieve equanimity and free attention, resolve attention in its Source, and then persist in the spontaneous Siddhi, or Process, of Divine Recognition, until there is the Outshining of conditional existence. [July 11, 1982]

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