Wednesday, December 26, 2007

meditation on full moon, symbolism and self-realization

The moon represents our human self and the full moon in particular symbolizes the state of wholeness that human being attains at full self-realization. It is the state when our self-realization comes into full circle just as moon after going through its phases finally reach the all glowing full-moon stage.

By its very nature moon doesn't have its own light, thus have no ability to shine. Without the sun, it may remain oblivious forever in the night sky. In order for its illumination, it looks at the sun. Similar if the divine qualities in man is not awakened, if the divine qualities are not made to shine upon the inner heart, man is nothing. There is no difference between man and animal.

There surely came over man a period of time when he was not even a thing worth mentioning. The Quran, Al-Insan, 76:1

We human beings are like the moon. Just as the moon is there to reflect the light of the sun, so are human beings who are made to reflect the Light of the Divine Sun. Without the sun and its light shining upon the moon, there is no value of the moon. That is the significance of the statement full of esoteric implication, la haowla wa la quwwata illa biAllah, there is no power and transformation without that of God. Without God's illumination, human beings are of no value. Only by reflecting and illuminating the adamic form, man can claim its original state of creation in the image of God, in the reflection of God. And the reflection begin when we slowly start walking in the path of self-realization, which essentially is coming to understanding and realizing our innate divine nature.

"Whoso knoweth himself, knoweth his Lord" - saying of holy Prophet Muhammad, upon him be grace of God.

When self realization comes to full circle, to its perfection; like the moon which grows over time from total darkness and non-existence to full moon, so is the state of fully realized human being. This what Ibn Arabi (1165-1240), one of the greatest Muslim mystic and philosopher of all time called the universal or complete man (al-insan al-kamil). The full moon is the realizing of that potential and becoming the perfect or complete man. The moon and it's grows over time from total darkness and nothing visible in the sky, to splendid full moon is like a metaphor of the journey and states of fully realized human being.

As the full moon is, in a clear sky so is the perfected self-realized beings shine with magnificent light, and they become the receptive vessel where Divine Light, Light upon Light, descends.

And the light, in different faith traditions have been called by different names such as: in Hinduism this is Krishna Consciousness, in Buddhism this is Buddha nature, in Christianity this is Christ Consciousness and in Islam this is Nur Muhammad. All are talking about the primordial light that the Divine gifted to humanity from Its own Light. No matter what the name has been given based on the familiarity of its audience and recipient at different ages, this is the Light of the Great Sun, the Divine.

The earth which blocks the light of the Sun is the symbol of our ego, our gross self. Even though earth is much smaller compared to the Sun, yet it can totally overshadow the light and makes the moon completely dark. So is the role of ego and the extent to which it can cover our divine nature, it can prevent all light to be shined upon our inner heart. When the earth moves out from the path of the Sun, when the veil of ego is removed - only, and only then we can enjoy the beauty of the full moon, beauty of a realized human being gets manifested.

O, friend! Nobody veils you, but yourself.
In your path there is no thorn or weed, but yourself.
You asked: shall I reach the beloved or not?
Between you and the beloved there is nobody, but yourself.
- Awhadoddin Kermani

Last evening, thanks to my dear friend Saranya, we have experienced a nice Christmas eve meditation at Self Realization Fellowship (SRF) temple at Encinitas. Encinitas in Southern California is the very city where great Yogi Paramahansa Yogananda in 1937 established ashram. Here, at the Hermitage he lived for many years and he wrote his Autobiography of a Yogi, widely regarded today as a modern spiritual classic.

While driving to the temple with Saranya and another friend, we enjoyed the beautifully glowing full moon on the clear southern California sky. Then Saranya asked in the car what does the full moon signifies, I was thinking of symbolism associated with it in terms of moon representing the Divine Feminine aspect, receptive nature etc. But later on during the meditation at the temple this little piece of thought / inspiration (as written above after adding flesh to the skeleton of thought) came even though i wasn't consciously thinking over it.

side note | extra-ordinary phenomena of solar eclipse

There is something interesting to observe when total solar eclipse occurs. Even though sun and moon are of different size and are placed at a very different distance from earth, they totally match in size with each other. The Earth's distance from the Sun is about 400 times the Moon's distance from the Earth. The Sun's diameter is about 400 times the diameter of the Moon. Extra-ordinarily, because these ratios are approximately the same, the sizes of the Sun and the Moon as seen from Earth appear to be approximately the same. (credit)

total solar eclipseThe Moon has a diameter of 2160 miles, and a distance from us of 216,000 miles, a ratio of 1 to a 100 (approx). And by Divine's exact design, it appears the same size in the sky to us as the Sun, because the Sun’s diameter to distance ratio is the same 1 to 100. The Sun having a diameter of 864,000 miles while being 93,000,000 miles from us. This equality of divine ratio’s being seen visually when the Moon passes in front of the Sun in an eclipse. (details)

God created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions).
The Quran 39.5

. image credit

- Escondido, Southern California | Sadiq M. Alam
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