|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.73(d)|
Read an Excerpt
An Evolutionary Insight
By Ramesh Malhotra
iUniverse LLCCopyright © 2013 Ramesh Malhotra
All rights reserved.
Mythology: Bronze Age
During the period from 120,000 to 24,000 BCE, Neanderthals lived on the earth. The Neanderthals possessed traits far more similar to animals than humans. According to archaeological records, the Neanderthals disappeared during the Stone Age and were replaced by modern humans, who first appeared in Ethiopia as archaic Homo sapiens. These early humans nursed the elderly and practiced ritual burials. Beyond the immediate requirements of procuring food, making coverings for the body, and building shelters, the culture included the practice of specific rites relating to death and burial. There is no established record of any major spiritual activities or revelations during the Stone Age.
The first record of holistic visions received by human beings recorded in caves around 4,000 BCE during the early Bronze Age. Within the ancient sacred scriptures, such revelations indicate there was a form of communication between divine powers and human beings. The information was transcribed in an abstract form and passed on from one generation to another until a much later date. There is no doubt that the sacred knowledge received as part of these revelations gradually changed as it was transferred from one cult to another. This information was largely used in the form of prayers, oblations, sacrifices (personal, and of other living things), plus the building of temples and shrines to honor the Creator and its divine powers.
One of the oldest available sacred texts of such holistic visions is clay tablets. In the tablets, such script was recorded in cuneiform around 2,600 BCE when the first highly evolved human beings experienced holistic visions describing the formation of earth. The cuneiform script described the origin of life on the planet in detail. These seven tablets, called Enuma Elish, describe how human-like beings appeared on earth and ultimately became the rulers of this planet. These people were different from common human beings; they were immortal and had divine or mystical powers of creation.
The Sumerians, who prevailed within the Mesopotamian region during that era, discovered the information. This information led to the development of the first available written mythology. This mythology is referred to as the "Epic of Gilgamesh of Babylonia." A copy of this historic document ended up in the library at Nineveh in the seventh century BCE. Archeologists uncovered it in the 1800s, and now it resides in the British Museum.
These seven tablets describe—with some accuracy—a power struggle, a civil war of sorts, among different divine powers that caused a catastrophic cosmic environment that brought into balance the supreme power of causation. This has been discovered by modern-day science through technological advancement—the origin of our universal system, the formation and alignment of planetary systems, the different stages of the earth's stabilization, and the origin of life on earth.
The ancient epic describes two kinds of primeval waters that prevailed on the planet: fresh flowing waters (rivers) and a body of stagnant water (oceans). The fresh flowing water coming from the ground was named Apsu, and the stagnant water or salty water of the oceans on the earth was named Tiamat. The divine power prevailing on the planet, described as wind, was called Ea. The wind power not only made tremendous noise or babel, but it also caused floods, storms, hurricanes, and tornados, which they named Mummu.
The wind, in combination with its related powers, was considered one of the most powerful divine forces on the planet. The other major divine power in the sky was an illuminated body like the sun, which they named Marduk. The sun was even more powerful than all the other powers residing on or above the planet. Marduk came to help and protect all the lower divine powers from the chaos, created because of continued disputes in the lower powers of Apsu, Tiatma, Ea, and Mummu. The lower powers gave Marduk the power to rule over the planet and appointed Marduk the king of the earth.
Marduk created a shield, the sky, to protect the divine lower powers prevailing on the planet from the powerful cosmic forces of radiation, gravitation, ultraviolet rays, and meteoritic showers. Further, Marduk, the sun, used its superior powers to organize planets and stars into a planetary system and established seasonality by organizing the orbital system that regulates the movement of the moon, providing light during the night when the sun is unable to do so. The lower gods or powers gave their allegiances to Marduk to protect the split that Marduk created between the cosmos and earth to protect the lower powers that prevail on the earth from demonic forces that prevailed within the cosmic region. This split also created a region beyond the sky where the eternal soul of the Creator, named El, provided a protective shield or a transitory home for individual living spirits that humanity identified as the "heaven in the sky" or swarga. Below the protective shield resided earth, which they called Ki or Antu. The lower divine powers and embodiments—consisting of the eternal soul in the form of living spirit—were able to coexist in harmony with the living force or lower divine powers. According to Enuma Elish, in Babylon (Mesopotamia) the residence of the demigods was established.
Based on this mythology, Mesopotamian civilizations accepted Babylon as the home of Marduk and thus built the first temple to worship the sun god. (Interestingly, even today, the hottest place on the earth is El Azizia in Libya, where the scorching temperature reaches 136 degrees Fahrenheit with the ambient surface air temperature recorded at 93 degrees Fahrenheit.) Sumerians respected the lower divine powers as demigods and believed all the higher powers or deities prevailed beyond the shield.
The Sumerians called El the High God of the Canaanites; they worshipped El as the Creator and the supreme power. El was responsible for the maintenance of peace and tranquility among these powers and was responsible for the causation, existence, protection, prosperity, and ultimate annexation of all these powers.
It is further described that High God El started the beginning of humanity on earth by creating an embodiment from dust (inert material) and placing divine breath or divine blood (living spirit) in it to start the first pair of living beings. According to Enuma Elish, each pair of emanations consisted of a divine male and divine female; at the beginning, there was no gulf between humanity and divinity (except that divinity was regarded as immortal and humanity as mortal).
With the passage of time, human beings changed, grew weaker, and became more attenuated as they moved further from the original divine source of creation. I believe this may represent the beginning of both physical and spiritual evolutionary trends. According to Enuma Elish, all these creations and transformations carried out in six divine "days" or six primordial epochs.
Based upon the mystical revelations of Enuma Elish, it led to the development of mythology to construct temples and perform devotional worship and sacrifices to please the divine powers and prevent them from performing evil acts. The mythology of Enuma Elish greatly influenced the civilizations living within the Mesopotamian region—and ultimately led to the development of the highly cultured civilization of the Canaanites.
Abraham later organized this group, which was known as the Israelites. Their reach eventually spread to all the surrounding regions and heavily influenced the development of Egyptian, Greek, and Persian, Byzantine, and Roman mythologies.
In the Middle East, within the Old Iranian region, another mythology developed, which was based upon a divine vision received by a holy man named Zoroaster. This holy man introduced the concept of one God, the true Creator of the universe, whom he named Ahura Mazda. The holy man proclaimed that Ahura Mazda was the true source of all goodness and was worthy of the highest worship.
The holy man further proclaimed that demonic forces called devas were created by Angra Mainyu to deceive humans and make them believe that devas were divine powers. Thus, humans were led away from the path of righteousness and subjected to the hostile spirit, the source of all sin and misery in the universe.
Ahura Mazda is superior to Angra Mainyu. This led to splitting the kingdom into two sections. One group, the Mazdayasnians (monotheists), followed the ideology of One God; the other group, who called themselves Daevayasnians (polytheists), followed different deities. The Daevayasnians became less powerful, and they moved away from Prussia, eventually joining the Indo-Aryan group to become part of Brahmanism.
The Mazdayasnians, however, stayed within their native soil of Iran and flourished as successful rulers, including the dynasties of Achaemenidas, the Parthians, and the Sassanids. The Muslim rulers who came from Arabia eventually overpowered these dynasties when they introduced Islam as the ruling faith. They later moved to India.
Further to the east, a Chinese mythology developed, which defined that in the beginning there was nothing on earth except for formless chaos. This chaos amalgamated into a cosmic "egg" for about eighteen thousand years and gave birth to duality called yin and yang. When yin and yang are in a state of perfect balance it produces harmony, which they called Pangu, the balancing power or the Creator of the universe.
A Pangu is a primitive hairy giant with horns on his head and wearing furs. Pangu created the universe by separating yin from yang with a swing of his giant ax, creating the earth (murky yin) and the sky (clear yang). To keep them separate, Pangu stood between them and pushed up the sky. This task took eighteen thousand years; with each day, the sky grew ten feet (three meters) higher, the earth ten feet wider, and Pangu ten feet taller. In some versions of the story, Pangu created four prominent beasts, namely the turtle, the qilin, the phoenix, and the dragon.
According to scriptures, after the eighteen thousand years elapsed, Pangu disappeared. His breath became the wind; his voice became the thunder; his left eye became the sun; and his right eye became the moon. His body became the mountains and extremes of the world; his blood created rivers; his muscles became the fertile lands; his facial hair became the stars and the Milky Way. His fur became the bushes and forests; his bones became the valuable minerals; his bone marrow became sacred diamonds; his sweat fell and became the rain; the fleas on his fur were carried by the wind and scattered throughout the earth in the form of different forms of fish and animals.
Nuwa, the goddess, then used the mud of the riverbed to form the first humans. The first humans were individually crafted and very smart. Nuwa became bored of making each human individually, so she put a rope in the riverbed to soak it and then lifted it above the water, and the drops of mud that fell from it became new humans. These new humans were not as smart as the original unique humans were.
In Chinese shrines, stereotypical "caveman" regalia with long hair and leopard-skin tunics depicted as Pangu and as a symbol, such as the baguna, are associated with Pangu in these shrines.
In Central America, the Mayan people lived from 2,300 to 1,000 BCE. They developed into a complete, self-contained civilization. The Popol Vuh, the "Book of People," was established as their holy scripture. This scripture encompassed a wide range of subjects, including creation, ancestry, history, and cosmology.
The time of creation was nothing but dark and silence; like a peaceful night, there was no mobility at all. The divine spirits, the ancestors of creation, surrounded the water with light, but they all hid behind a cover of soft green-and-blue materials like feathers. They were super human beings. They were named Gucumatz and Tepeu, and above the earth in the sky was a "Heart of Heaven," which they called Hurricane, or "God prevailed."
In the darkness of night, Gucumatz and Tepeu received individually a message from the Heart of Heaven or so-called revelations. They agreed to unite their words and their thoughts, and they meditated until it became clear to them that when dawn broke, new life would appear on the earth, which would become trees, animals, and humankind. They witnessed three creations; the first they named Caculha Huracan, the second Chipi-Caculha, and the third, Raxa-Caculha. They determined jointly that these three represented the Heart of Heaven on earth. Gucumatz and Tepeu considered these the divine powers of the sun and the moon that were created to provide life and light and produce food and nutrition for all created beings.
They witnessed the creation of an empty void, and then water receded to form the sea, which made the space for the earth to appear as a solid. This was all done with the blessings of Huracan. Then there was light, which was followed by a dawn in the sky. The earth developed, and instantly there was a mist, and then there was a cloud of dust, and then the mountains appeared from the water and grew, and valleys formed. The groves of cypresses and pines put forth shoots together on the surface of the earth.
Gucumatz was filled with joy as he thanked the three divine powers—Caculha Huracan, Chipi-Caculha, and Raxa-Caculha—and said, "Your coming has been fruitful."
"And," they answered, "our work, our creation, is now finished."
There was no glory or grandeur in their creation and formation until the first human beings appeared. From these human beings, "hero twins" were born of Vucub-Caquix. The twins were named Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Their children, Zipacna and Cabracan, established the propagation process on earth. By using white and yellow corn, the gods created dualities, such as day and night, and calmness and wind. The twin hero wives then created more offspring.
Based on the mythology of Popol Vuh, these creations ultimately led to the development of a civilization called Quiche. The people of Quiche traveled into the mountains and found Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent lord, who provided them with the prominence to dominate and institute elaborate rituals and build temples and shrines. Later, many cities were established, and significant architectural structures emerged; fortifications were added later. Anthropologically, a classic period of civilization prevailed within Central America roughly between 1,000 and 790 BCE.
On the Indian subcontinent, according to Hindu mythology, the creation started with the formation of Hiranyagarbha, meaning the golden egg or universal embryo from which all manifestations originate and ultimately terminate. Purana, an ancient holy scripture, describes that after the great dissolution of the earlier universal system, there was darkness everywhere and nothing was moving. Out of this tranquil darkness, a supreme power, called Svayambhu, arose to create the golden womb, Hiranyagarbha, commonly known as Brahma, and then the supreme power itself entered into the golden womb as Vishnu, an eternal soul. This started the process of creation or manifestation. This process of origination, sustenance, and dissolution established Trimurti, consisting of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. This multi-headed, multi-eyed, multi-footed, multi-armed, multi-limbed being was called Hari, the Lord Supreme—the undifferentiated substratum from which every manifested and unmanifested, visible and invisible form developed and continues to create, sustain, and dissolve.
Excerpted from Spiritual Wisdom by Ramesh Malhotra. Copyright © 2013 Ramesh Malhotra. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations.................... ix
Source Book.................... xxix
Part 1: A History of Spiritual Evolution.................... 1
Chapter 1 Mythology: Bronze Age.................... 3
Chapter 2 Ideology: Iron Age.................... 14
Chapter 3 Doctrine: Axial Age.................... 18
Chapter 4 Spiritualism: Inspirational Age.................... 24
Chapter 5 Materialism: Egocentric Age.................... 33
Part 2: Elements of Spiritual Wisdom.................... 39
Section I: Spiritual Knowledge–.................... 41
Chapter 6 Faith.................... 46
Chapter 7 Covenants.................... 67
Chapter 8 Dogma.................... 81
Chapter 9 Omnipotence.................... 93
Chapter 10 Encirclement.................... 107
Section II: Transcendental Knowledge–.................... 111
Chapter 11 Primordial Force.................... 114
Chapter 12 Living Force.................... 126
Chapter 13 Living Spirit.................... 138
Chapter 14 Invisible Link.................... 150
Chapter 15 Serenity.................... 156
Part 3: The Process of Self-Revitalization.................... 171
Section I: Invocation of Spiritual Wisdom–.................... 185
Chapter 16 Awakening.................... 188
Chapter 17 Detachment.................... 202
Chapter 18 Renunciation.................... 211
Chapter 19 Revelation.................... 222
Chapter 20 Enlightenment.................... 230
Section II: Invocation of Eternal Wisdom–.................... 233
Chapter 21 Mythical Gift.................... 237
Chapter 22 Salvation.................... 256
Chapter 23 Sanctity.................... 264
Chapter 24 Unification.................... 271