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Elizabeth Reninger

Dissolve The Sky

By December 31, 2012

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A couple weeks ago, I came across a reference to The Song Of Ribhu -- an English translation (from the Tamil) of an Advaita scripture, which I hadn't heard of before. Immediately I felt a strong intuitive "yes" to ordering the book, and so I did.

It arrived, in its full immensity (750 pages!) a couple days ago. I was a bit bummed about slight damage to the book -- the final 100 pages or so carried a quarter-sized watermark, on the lower corner -- but in general felt happy to have a new scripture to explore. (And later reflected: well, it just arrived already baptized :)

So last night I picked it up, thinking it would be good "before-bed" reading. I opened at random to chapter nineteen: "The Greatness Of The Sage." Almost immediately, I could feel an energetic potency to the words, a sweet release into a deeper "space." This is not an uncommon experience for me, when I'm reading Truth-filled words -- to feel their effect on my energy-body -- so while I noticed it was happening, it didn't strike me as out-of-the-ordinary: just a signal that yes, this is a good thing to be reading.

However, as I continued to read, that energetic charge, instead of remaining at a constant level, steadily increased -- until I was quite literally "buzzing" -- my entire body vibrating in a way that, while initially quite pleasant, was becoming  uncomfortable. By the time I had made my way through chapter twenty -- "Liberation By The Certitude Of The Nature Of The Absolute" -- I had to put the book down, even though it hadn't been more than 45 minutes or so since I had begun reading.

Though it was now my bedtime, the possibility, in that moment, of actually falling asleep, seemed almost hilariously remote -- with my supercharged body (every cell, dancing) right on the edge of explosion or implosion or something ...  So I just laid there, noticing the charge, thinking: wow, that's a really potent scripture.

I did eventually drift into dream-land, whose swirling waters then gifted me with a sweetly-enigmatic teaching-dream:  Standing in a spacious house, looking out glass sliding-doors onto a patio, which opens onto a large lawn, and then a voice, saying to me: "Dissolve the sky; embrace leaves and grass and virtue."

When I woke -- with "Dissolve the sky; embrace leaves and grass and virtue" still echoing clearly -- I of course thought of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, though feel that the first phrase of the dream-message -- "dissolve the sky" -- holds the key ....

Anyway, here's an excerpt from chapter twenty (verses 25-28), for your enjoyment. (The convention in this translation, by H. Ramamoorthy & Nome, is to capitalize words which refer to the Absolute.) In virtue of its "neti, neti" approach, the Ribhu Gita (or so I have learned) has been compared to Buddhism's Heart Sutra. In the language of Taoism, its ultimate pointing is to "the ten-thousand-things as none other than Tao."

Casting aside even that "nature of Bliss,"
Firmly abide as the One Existence.
Casting aside even that "One Existence" -- with nothing apart --
Remain attributeless.
Casting out even "the attributeless,"
Remain as the nature beyond mind and speech.
Casting aside even that, abide just as Knowledge --
And leaving off even that, abide as the Self.

Leaving that also aside,
Abide as Brahman alone.
Leaving aside all that has been said here,
Abide as the true Void.
Then without any conditionings such as the mind,
Remain as the indescribable Void.
Leaving aside even this "Void,"
Whatever nature remains, exist as that nature.

After losing even the nature of remaining so,
You will be yourself --
The state which cannot be described by words
Or thought of by the mind in the least.
Hence, after reaching That, the Natural State,
You will be by yourself, all alone, as yourself;
Who can describe or think of that state
Which is without the least doubt or delusion?

Casting aside all as explained above,
Remain in your own nature as the pure Supreme Existence.
Inquire into this daily and meditate
That it is the undivided "I" that is relinquishing all this.
The constant inquiry and meditation
That I, indeed, am the infinite, undivided Supreme,
Is the means for achieving nirvikalpa (the undifferentiated state) --
The mind-transcending serenity of Supreme Consciousness.

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