ETH Lectures

Lecture XIII 10th February, 1939

Today we begin the third phase of the Shri-Chakra-Sambhara, the Synthesis, which falls into two separate parts.

“The two-fold merit is acquired thus: Imagine arising from Shunyata the Mantra Yam.”

Shunyata is the Void, a positive emptiness.

It is Buddha as non-being, as nothingness.

This is a paradox which cannot be grasped by thought.

When his pupils questioned Buddha about Shunyata, he was silent or replied in a round about way.

There were things he did not want to speak of, he would not say what was best left unsaid.

We see in our text that through the Yogin’s effort a thought being rises from the cosmic void, the Mantra Yam.

A spoken mantra is a magic word.

The meaning of Yam is dark, there is no comment to the text, but it is a radical word meaning to support, to contain.

Yam seems to fit here, as a structure which arises from the Void and embraces the whole metaphysical Universe, a foundation for the world which is to be built.

“from which issues the Mandala of Air;” . . .

The Mandala of Air issues from Yam.

We meet the Mandalas of the four elements here, built one on the top of the other.

the Mantra Ram, evolving the mandala of Fire red in colour “; . . .

Fire arises from Ram, which means enjoyment and union in the erotic sense.

So this Mantra seems to fit again remarkably well, the red fire, feeling with passion.

“the Mantra Vam, from which issues the Mandala of Water round of form and white in colour with a pot;”

Water is represented in a pot of round form with the idea of rounding it out.

The word Yam has the meaning of spitting out which is also suitable to water.

the Mantra Lam, from which evolves the Mandala of Earth square in shape and yellow in colour”,

The Mantra Lam evolves the earth as the fifth, with the idea of the quintessence.

Lam has the same meaning as Ram enjoyment, probably in the sexual, erotic sense.

The four square of the earth as opposed to the round of the water is typical of the East.

We find the four square of the earth in the centre of the Chinese cosmogonic scheme of the Yi King, yellow in colour.

It is interesting that in our text the Yogin reaches the earth last.

We usually find this order reversed, it begins with the earth and goes through water and fire to the air.

Heraclitus says that the hottest, driest souls are the noblest and that: “It is death to the soul to become water.”

But here it is the earth which comes last out of Shunyata as the quinta essentia, apparently the goal of imagination is not spiritualisation but that the tangible earth should become real.

This is a marvellous contrast to the western point of view.

We find the square earth as the foundation for the Temple Buildings and also for another form of Tantrik Yoga, the Kundalini Yoga.

There it is the Muladhara Chakra, the root support. (See tracing p. 89 .

The earth is represented as a square with the elephant that carries the world.

Kundalini is a Hindu Tantrik Yoga belonging to Indian scholasticism.

We do not know its date, the text translated in A. Avalon’s book on Kundalini Yoga: “Serpent Power ” dates from the 16th century.

The Shri- Chakra-S ambhara Tantra is also Tantrik, but Tibetan and specifically Buddhist, though it contains as we have seen considerable remnants of the old Bon religion.

“Then from the Mantra Sum imagine Mount Meru the King of Mountains; the four fences of which are of crystal on the East, gold in the North, ruby in the West, and emerald on the South. It is quadrangular in shape with three tiers of squares thereon and eight turrets.”

We find Mt. Meru, the king of mountains, the world mountain, standing on the foundation of the earth.

This mountain appears in Hindu mythology as a cosmic mountain which is in itself a Mandala.

It has four fences on its four sides made of four different minerals, the colours are indicated by this.

We found these colours already in the elements.

We also find four colours in the Bardo Thodol as the lights of the four wisdoms, they form four “light-paths” to Buddhahood or redemption.

These are clearly the four functions expressed as four paths of orientation.

The point of colour is important, for it is a fact that these functions have colours , they are often thought of, or rather felt, as colours, colours are feeling values.

Thinking in the West is opposed to feeling, it disturbs a thought if a feeling enters into it, but the East thinks more substantially, with the whole man.

We met this in our text as the radiant light of “Hum” out of the heart.

Easterners do not think abstractly with the head as we do but from the heart, they think and feel together.

It is absolutely necessary to grasp every psychic process with all the four functions, otherwise we only grasp a quarter of it.

The intellect just gives one orientation to it, its meaning, but we need the other functions to orient the whole man to it, to reach its totality.

We can speculate abstractly with the intellect, but we cannot reach the value without feeling.

We should prize the intellect but it is really of very little use in practical life without feeling.

Thinking may despise something but if it is valued by feeling it cannot be ignored.

Mark Twain wrote a book a out Christian Science, he showed it up as the most abject nonsense, as an outflowing of human stupidity.

But, he adds, it is nevertheless very important, because it is stupidity which rules mankind.

Very few people understand intelligent things whereas everybody understands stupid things; stupidity, therefore, is a far greater power than intelligence.

The four colours attributed to the functions are based on certain feeling values.

Feeling is red, this is connected with blood and fire, with passion and love which is supposed to be warm and glowing.

Sensation is green, this is connected with the earth and perceiving reality.

Thinking is white, or blue, cold like snow and Intuition is gold or yellow because it is felt to shine and radiate.

You can see this in an intuitive person’s eyes, in the picture of Goethe by Stieler, for instance.

Such eyes do not look at things, they gleam towards them; they see no detail but rather a sort of magic atmosphere round things, an inner perception rather than an outer.

But if you are going to look down a microscope it is useless to gleam in its direction, you need sensation eyes for that, pincette eyes, which will pick out every detail.

We see from the description of the tiers of squares and turrets, that Mount Meru is conceived of as fortified town.

“Imagine all these to be placed, the one above the other in their order, and on the top of all a multicolored, four-headed Vajra.”

This is an image which looks like a cross.

There is one printed on the covers of Evans-Wentz’s books: “The Tibetan Book of the Dead” and “Secret Doctrine”.

It consists of two dorjes (thunderbolts). (See tracing below).

The text continues:

“blue on the East, green on the North, red on the West, yellow on the South and in the Centre dark blue.”

The white has turned to blue, a light blue, quite a different tone from the dark blue of the centre.

“On this dark blue ground again place the Mantra Pam.”

I could not trace the origin of the word “Pam” or of “Sum”.

“from which emanates an eight-petalled lotus. In the centre of the lotus again imagine a ring formed by the sixteen Sanskrit vowels, twice
repeated, going from the right to the left.”

This ring turns left, apradakshina.

We have here the left hand movement to the dark side, when man turns to his feminine unconscious.

The text goes on to tell us that through meditation on this ring formed by the vowels, a lunar disc arises upon which the consonants must be imagined.

These go from left to right.

Here we have the pradakshina movement, this lunar disc turns towards the light, towards the favourable conscious side.

When you are speaking to someone of importance in India you must not stand in front of him but beside him.

And if you have to walk round him you must be careful to walk with your right shoulder towards him in order to show that you realise his importance.

Buddha himself drew attention to this.

It is not only impolite to walk round him in an anticlockwise direction but it is a bad omen.

The text goes on to say that the contemplation of this lunar disc produces the solar disc.

The sun as the symbol of highest consciousness.

The text continues:

. . . ” On the surface of which [the solar disc) again imagine the Mantras Om, A, Hum the essence of the ordinary physical body, speech and mind.”

Here again apparently it is the physical body which is the goal and is given the preference.

Speech and mind are usually thought of as being higher and more valuable but they are given here as mere appendages of the body.

“Above all these, meditate up on a Lotus Disc, the pure emblem of the female organ of the Female Deity, and above that on the Lunar Disc,
emblem of the male seed of the Male Deity.”

We have here the Yoni and the Lingam.

We find in a footnote to the text:

“The Deities created by the mind, the Male according to the Tantrik Buddhists b eing the Symbol of Power and the Female of the mind which
guides and uses it.”

The symbol for the mind here is not masculine as with us but feminine.

The Logos, God the Father, Hermes in Greece, to quote but a few instances, are all male.

You can see here, therefore, the kind of mind which is characteristic for the East.

It is a feminine mind, a creation of the unconscious and not of the conscious, a kind of unknown god.

The thing which approaches us from the unconscious is the mind in the East.

We think of mind as the highest development of the conscious, but that is in no way the eastern idea.

The text says:

. . . ” All these considered as one, . . . and forming one Mandala is the Consciousness which is eternal and Immutable [Dharma Dhatu-Jnana).”

The changeless Jnana, the principle of truth.

We find here the full union of the masculine conscious and the feminine unconscious mind.

In the Christian Gnosis, in the Acts of Thomas, the Holy Ghost is hailed as the mother, and it is also early alluded to as the Sophia.

There is a famous story of a love affair between Sophia and the first parent.

The granddaughter was head over heels in love with the ancient grandfather.

You find this story in Hans Leisegang’s book on the Gnosis.

“Concentrate on the above until it is vividly present to the mind’s eye”

As we have seen before, this is no spontaneous vision but the Lama works with the utmost concentration to build it up through magic, living and plastic, till it is completed.

“Then proceed as follows : – Within the magical protective fences, created as above by Mantras, imagine a grand temple [Vihara),”

I showed you such a construction in the Lamaistic Mandala, (Sketch p . 38).

“quadrangular, with four entrances, built of various precious metals, on the summit of Mount Meru on each of the four sides. Imagine the walls to be five-fold and of five different colours in th e following order, black, white, yellow, red and green. These walls are surmounted by a yellow metal cornice ornamented with moons, to which are suspended bells with half and full loops of jangling metal bells waving in the wind.”

Such bells are a very common motif on Indian Temples.

You find a great many on the Temple of the Juggernaut at Puri in Orissa for instance.

The image of this Hindu god is dragged in his chariot by 4,000 men during his yearly festival.

People still throw themselves under the feet of these men.

There are bells on this Temple exactly like those described in our text, a bell hangs under the moon.

This theme is repeated all over the walls and eaves of the Temples.

Sometimes it is a moon, sometimes the moon has a face on it and sometimes the moon is replaced by a face.

This came from a growing consciousness that the bell represented the voice of God and a tendency to personify this.

We find the same idea in Schiller’s:

“Das Lied von der Glocke” (The Song of the Bell.)”

“Vivos voco. Mortuos plango. Fulgura frango.” (The bell speaks and calls the living to prayer, it mourns. the dead, and breaks the lightning.)

So it is quite logical that it should be represented by the face of a divine being.

. . . ” Each of the four entrances have pillared porticos, the pillars being surmounted by four-tiered cornices . These again are topped by the wheel of Dharma,”

Dharma means the law.

You often find wheels represented on Buddhist buildings, for Buddha is said to have set the wheel of the law in motion by his
first sermon near Benares.

“figures of antelopes, umbrellas, banners, as also yak-tail fans with jewelled handles. The corbels supporting the cornice on the inner side are coloured blue on the east, green on the north, red on the west, and yellow on the south . The fourfold central wheel is surmounted by a dome in the form of a Stupa (Chorten) with four tiers at the base.”

We have already spoken of stupas (see Lecture V, p. 35).

Their form is rather like the Jesuit Baroque.

The form was originally derived from the Lingam.

You see this in the Chaityas, the rock temples in Ajanta, where they are Shiva Sanctuaries.

“Then imagine outside the Vihara there are the eight Great Cremation Grounds of the dead. (Burning Ghats.)”

You still find such Burning Ghats in India.

A Ghat is an open place used for some purpose.

In Benares there are Bathing Ghats, for instance.

I met Ghats already in Bombay, these were used for corpses but the corpses are not always burnt.

They are sometimes exposed for vultures, animals or demons to devour.

In our text eight Burning Ghats are to be found in the mandala outside the fire fence.

The cremation grounds are regarded as the place where all terrors and horrors originate.

They symbolise the suffering of the world.

” . . . Next imagine within the latter (Vihara) a circle within which again picture an eight-petalled lotus. Let the worshipper think of himself in the centre of the Lotus as being the Chief Devati Khorlo Demchog (Chakra Mahasukha) with four faces symbolizing the four Purified Elements, the four Boundless Wishes, the four Emancipations, and the four Acts. The face in front is blue, that on the left green, that at the back red and that on the right yellow. To symbolise that he does not change from the Dharma-dhatu-j nana, the body is of a blue colour.”

A blue body is a prerogative of Krishna as an Avatar of Vishnu.

Osiris n Egypt has the same prerogative.

It symbolises a divine body, a god.

“To show that all the three Lokas”

Kamaloka = sensual world, Rualoka = world of forms, Arupaloka = formless spiritual world.

“are under His vision and that He knows the Three Times each Face has three eyes.”

The Indian gods are often represented with three eyes .

We are told here that this is in order to see the Three Times, that is the past, present and future.

Each face has three eyes, and there are four faces of four different colours.

The fences were of four colours and also the four-headed Vajra, these were connected with the four elements and the points of the compass, the directions of space; and as we saw these four symbolised .the four functions.

In this case the coloured faces symbolise divine attributes.

The believer, when in the condition of Samadhi, is exalted to the world being, from whom the four qualities emanate.

We see these colours again and again, sometimes they are walls or protections.

I acquired an example of this in India, a picture veiled by five curtains from the eyes of the profane . Yellow, green, red, blue and a very dark blue, which is Almost black, as the Quinta essentia.

We find the same motif in the Stupas, the Believer has to walk round four walls before he reaches the magic image.

The figure in the centre of this picture is blue which shows that he is a god. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lecture XII,10th February, 1939, Pages 76-81