During the last solar eclipse, which was also Maha Shivaratri and my birthday, my meditation was long and truly wonderous. When I came out after a full night’s meditation, I sat down to write the next installment of the Gita, and begin this chapter. I started with my usual pranams to the Board and before I knew it, the following script was on the computer. The Big Picture had emerged:
The Big Picture
Last night, my meditation was an odyssey, a Grand Tour of hundreds of worlds. It went on throughout the night, a long, complex journey too long to relate in any detail here. I don’t think I could do it even if I tried, even if I had the time and the space. Writing about these worlds would fail in any case. You would have to have been there and seen for yourself.
Beginning this chapter with an Odyssey has given me a perspective that would otherwise have sent me on an entirely different path in writing the translations and commentaries on these verses. But now I have a Big Picture. I think it was not a coincidence that this took place just before beginning this chapter.
We established in previous chapters that there are many worlds. We also learned that these worlds exist at different levels in both directions from our own world, some better and some worse. I thought I had some idea of a few worlds at each of these levels, but there are hundreds, perhaps even thousands. The residents of the worlds I visited on my tour carried the same characteristics mentioned in the fourth and fifth verses of this chapter, and in each world, one of these characteristics seemed to be more prevalent.
These worlds and their denizens varied greatly. They looked different, they thought differently, they did things differently and they lived differently. Some we would not recognize as human, though most did look human. I went through a number of plights on these worlds with a degree of equanimity I didn’t know I had. Then, near the end of the tour, I met someone on one of these worlds and asked where one went after this (i.e., after death). “They go to the the un-world,” she said.
In one short sentence this person revealed a different way of thinking about life after death as the absence of “world”, as if it is the world that goes away, not us.
This leaves us with a new way of considering the meanings of statements from avataras such as Lord Krishna when they say that all this creation arises from them, rather than saying that they actively make it happen.
As we move along in this chapter, I will be seeing what is being said in terms of a much bigger picture. I invite you to bring your imagination (you’ll need it) and try to see what is being taught on a much larger scale: The Big Picture. It all begins next week, and I am as curious as you may be, to see what unfolds.
Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
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