The stuff that our universe is made of.
We breathe, live and move in a heaving ocean of energy. Every sign of existence in this universe from the throbbing of life in our bodies to the mighty cosmic forces that roll the galaxies is nothing but the movement of energy. Seen through the eyes of the physicist, planets, plants and people are just energy vibrating at different frequencies.
All we are, really, is energy - and yet, we are also the wonder of form! Form brings beauty and romance into our life.
"The extraordinary richness of Creation reveals to us that God is indeed an artist"
Man has always been fascinated by the delightful play of color, size and shape that creates our lovely universe. The extraordinary richness of Creation reveals to us that God is indeed an artist. Just as the rainbow reveals to us the colors hidden in pure light, the innumerable forms of the world reveal to our eyes the existence of the Formless Lord.
The ancient cultures of the world were by nature pantheistic, worshipping the Creator through his creation. In the legendary Vedic civilization of India everything in the world was considered sacred, a spark of the flame of the Divine. Trees, mountains and animals were equally revered as expressions of the Divine, as were the forces of Nature like wind and water.
The Rg Veda, the most ancient of the Vedic texts invokes upon humanity the grace of Indra, the god of Lightning, Agni, the god of Fire, Varuna, the god of the Oceans, and Maruta, the god of the Wind, among thousands of other gods.
"The Vedic civilization upheld a non-dualistic view of life that easily encompassed the dimensions of Einsteinian relativity, quantum physics and beyond"
But although they appeared similar, the philosophy of the Vedas was in fact far from the simplistic faith of the pantheist. This civilization, flourishing over ninety thousand years ago along the banks of the river Saraswati in India was among the most advanced that our planet has ever seen. They gifted to the world the sciences of mathematics, astronomy, natural medicine, yoga, grammar, and above all, the sacred Science of the Self.
The Vedic civilization upheld a non-dualistic view of life that easily encompassed the dimensions of Einsteinian relativity, quantum physics and beyond - making it the most elevated philosophy that the human mind has ever conceived. This civilization also evolved a precise cosmogony whose tenets modern science is only just beginning to comprehend. Millennia before science proposed the theory of the vibratory universe, the Vedas were already describing how the universe began as a spanda, a subtle vibration, in the Divine mind. Rippling out to encompass space and time, swirling into denser vortices of energy and finally condensing into the gross expressions of matter, this cosmic energy went on to become the stars, the earth, the oceans - and ourselves.
The renowned Vedic text, the Taittiriya Upanishad, symbolically describes the descent of the Divine into the world of form -
“Aakaashaat vaayuhu, vaayor- agnihi Agner-aapaaha, aapaha prithivihiyam
(From the pure formless Space emerged the element of Air, from air emerged Fire, from Fire, Water from Water, Earth…)
"..everything in the world, including oneself can be a worthy vessel for the Divine energy"
The concept of many gods unique to the Vedic tradition stems from this view that everything in the world, including oneself can be a worthy vessel for the Divine energy. To commune directly with this energy is not easy for the average human mind, but to connect with it through a beloved form is a joy for the devotee. When the Hindu worships the stone idol of his ishtadevata, his favorite deity he is hardly worshipping the stone itself but instead, is in direct communion with the Divine energy expressing through that idol - a subtle truth that many miss who condemn the worship of idols in the Vedic tradition. The 330 million deities that make up the Hindu pantheon of gods symbolize this very idea: that the Divine lies hidden in everything, everywhere awaiting only the touch of awakening.
Worship Through Idols versus Idol Worship
This process of awakening is known in Sanskrit as praana pratishtha, literally meaning, the establishing of life-breath. A qualified Hindu priest may perform ‘mantra pratishtha’, invoking the deity’s energy through sacred chants and proper ceremonies and inviting it to enter into the idol. But significantly, only an enlightened being is authorized to perform praana pratishtha - which is the direct infusion of life-force into matter. When an enlightened being performs praana pratishtha on an idol he not only brings it to life but transmits to it his own enlightened state of being. Such an idol, now rightly called a deity becomes an independent intelligence, a direct vehicle of the Divine cosmic energy capable of answering prayers healing ailments and granting boons.
Paramahamsa Nithyananda is one such enlightened being who is adept in the science of praana pratishtha. A young, charismatic spiritual teacher from India, Paramahamsa Nithyananda is a siddha yogi, spiritual healer, orator, author and the founder of an international socio-spiritual organization with followers in 150 countries. He is the heir of a 5000-year-old lineage of enlightened yogis who live and train on the legendary mountain of Arunachala in southern India. Nithyananda has established over 30 Vedic temples around the world which host 3720 living deities energized personally by him and sanctified every day through authentic Vedic worship and the chanting of appropriate mantras.
"With a word of blessing or a wave of his hand, Nithyananda empowers these deities from thousands of miles away to heal and bless devotees.."
Every day, thousands around the world are witnessing the powers of praana pratishtha in the idols energized by Nithyananda. With a word of blessing or a wave of his hand, Nithyananda empowers these deities from thousands of miles away to heal and bless devotees and even to materialize sacred items like rudraksha beads and holy ash.
To those of us who struggle to grasp the mysterious laws of the cosmos, it’s impossible to understand the intimate phenomenon of prana-pratishtha. But for the followers of Nithyananda, it is neither a matter of faith nor science for the miracles they are witnessing everyday have surpassed the boundaries of both faith and science as we understand them.
What exactly happens during praana-pratishtha?
This deeply mystical process can be explained to some extent by the principle of quantum entanglement. Entanglement is a term used in quantum theory to describe the way that particles of energy or matter can become correlated to predictably interact with each other, regardless of how far apart they are. Which means, the state and actions of one of these particles can instantaneously influence the state and actions of other through the process of interference. Entanglement is one of the many mysterious truths that Newtonian science could not even have imagined, for it questions the concepts of time, space and Reality itself.
"..the idols energized by Nithyananda practically become extensions of Himself no matter where they are located physically - even halfway across the planet."
A colossus of extraordinary yogic powers and enlightened consciousness, Nithyananda has the rare ability to subtly force dead matter to enter into entanglement with his own superconscious energy and thus become an alive, conscious power. Once the cycle of entanglement is established, the idols energized by Nithyananda practically become extensions of Himself no matter where they are located physically - even halfway across the planet. They become pure channels of cosmic energy functioning with independent intelligence yet in instantaneous contact with his own superconscious space.
In a world diseased with doubt and challenged by the epidemic of spiritual impoverishment, in a world struggling to escape the confines of ordinary human existence through addiction, illusion and death, mystic phenomena like these serve to remind us that whether we accept it or not, believe it or not, know it or not, we inhabit a planet showered by grace where humanity can aspire to touch Divinity and where everything that exists - as the Isha Vasya Upanishad tells us - are indeed the thousand forms of the one all-embracing Lord.