Sunday, May 31, 2020

Pentecost and Sankhya

Happy Pentecost!  Today is the day that the Holy Spirit entered each of Jesus disciples.  As told in the book of Acts All of the disciples were gathered in a room when the Holy Spirit entered the room with a sound like the rush of a violent wind and filled the house. Then the Holy Spirit resting on each of them as tongues of flame or fire and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking different languages.

Pentecost in my opinion should be celebrated with as much proclaim as Easter and even more than Christmas. This is the virtual Birthday of the Christian Church.  It is the day that all the disciples were virtually ordained. It certainly could have been a day they did not understand at the time.  What was this wind, this sound, this fire?

I had an experience with something like this five years ago.  I was walking on a labyrinth just before an exceedingly difficult time in my life and I experienced the Holy Spirit as wind going through my body.  There are more details that are personal here but a few weeks later I experienced an event that has forever changed my life.  Although confused at the time, like the disciples, all eventually became clear, and I was thankful for the loving guidance of the Holy Spirit in my life. Whenever I feel wind now, I feel the Holy Spirit’s presence in my life.

How does this relate to Yoga Philosophy? As promised, I completed my reading of the Sankhya Karika this week.  I am still processing. But I will share one part that relates:


This is the top of the chart. As I read I came to find this an imperfect representation of the Trinity.  Spirit/ Purusa the Seer on the left being Holy Spirit, Primal (or Unmanifest) Nature / MulaPrakriti the Seen on the right being Father, and Manifest Nature/ Prakriti on the right being Son.

Father manifests Son as a physical presence on Earth to be Seen. Our physical lives are represented here.  We must work through Kleshas or limitations/ misperceptions of our mind (ignorance, egotism, attachment, aversion, and clinging) to attain liberation and wisdom. This is not unlike the life of Jesus, the Son. Although perfect he often prayed for strength and for the cup to pass away from him. Ultimately, he overcomes the Kanchukas and gives his life for our own limitations and sins.  

Spirit observes or witnesses or is the Seer of all that happened. The Holy Spirit is not visible in the story of Jesus.  But I like to think she is there observing as a witness or seer of all that has happened. To fully understand this form of spirit ask yourself what is it that is aware of your body, breath, feelings, emotions, and beliefs?  Above in red we have Conscious – Intelligent – Subjective.   The observer of our lives is our spirit or consciousness.

We have a Physical Body and a Subtle Body. We live in the Physical Body. The Holy Spirit comes to us in our Subtle Body to be a witness to our physical life. And when the physical life is over perhaps the subtle body lives on.

 

Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

104:24 O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

104:25 Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great.

104:26 There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

104:27 These all look to you to give them their food in due season;

104:28 when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.

104:29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.

104:30 When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.

104:31 May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works--

104:32 who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke.

104:33 I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

104:34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.

104:35b Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD!

 

1 Corinthians 12:3b-13

No one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

 

Acts 2:1-21

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs--in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine." But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 'In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'

 

John 20:19-23

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

 

Top Photo: "Pentecost" by Tiziano Vecelli (Titian) was completed circa 1545

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