Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Triple Ignorance

7. Shunahshepa too was bound to the thousandfold post of sacrifice, him didst thou release and he attained to calm;¹ so do thou take thy seat here in us, O conscious knower, O Priest of the call, and loose from us the cords of our bondage.

(Sri Aurobindo. Hyms to the Mystic Fire, Mandala 5, Sukta 2, Verse 7)

Ignorance, this matrix of sin, has in its substantial effect the appearance of a triple cord of limited mind, inefficient life, obscure physical animality, the three ropes with which the Rishi Shunahshepa in the parable was bound as a victim to the sacrificial post. The whole result is a struggling or inert poverty of being; it is the meagreness of a mortal undelight and the insufficiency of a being that collapses at every moment towards death. When Varuna the Mighty comes and sunders this threefold restraint, we are freed towards riches and immortality. Uplifted, the real man arises to his true kingship in the undivided being. The upper cord flies upward releasing the wings of the Soul into superconscient heights; the middle cord parts both ways and all ways, the constrained life breaking out into a happy breadth of existence; the lower cord collapses downward taking with it the alloy of our physical being to disappear and be dissolved in the stuff of the Inconscient. This liberation is the purport of the parable of Shunahshepa and his two great hymns to Varuna.

[Sri Aurobindo. Secret of the Vedas, The Guardians of the Light]

The triple cord in the Upanishads

He, verily, who knows that Supreme Brahman becomes himself Brahman; in his lineage none is born who knows not the Brahman. He crosses beyond sorrow, he crosses beyond sin, he is delivered from the knotted cord of the secret heart and becomes immortal.


[Mundaka Upanishad Chapter III, 2.9]

Yea, when all the strings of the heart are rent asunder, even here, in this human birth, then the mortal becomes immortal. This is the whole teaching of the Scriptures.


[Katha Upanishad, 2.3.15]

Mother Mirra Alfassa

The cords symbolise the limitations of the mind; and there are three of them because there is a physical mind, a vital mind and a mental mind.

(Some Answers From The Mother Volume-16, Series Eleven, 9 November 1968)

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