This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

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Additional remarks on the sacred monosyllable

In the remainder of the Mandukya Upanishad, the correspondence between the conditions of Atma and the elements of the sacred monosyllable Om is described in detail.

This Atma is represented by the syllable Om, which is represented in its turn by letters [matras], the conditions [of Atma] are the matras, and (conversely) the matras are the conditions: these are A, U, and M.

Vaishvanara, whose seat is in the waking state, is A, the first matra, because it is the connection, and also because it is the beginning.

‘A’ is the normal sound of the speech organs in their relaxed position, and so is the ‘connection’ between silence and speech, and is present in all its modifications; likewise Vaishvanara is in all sensible things and brings them to unity. ‘And also because it is the beginning’: A is the beginning of the alphabet, while Vaishvanara is the starting point for the human being on the path to realization.

He who knows this verily obtains all his desires, and he becomes the first [in the realm of Vaishvanara or of Viraj, of which he makes himself the center by virtue of that very knowledge and by the identification it implies when once it is fully effective].

Taijasa, the seat of which is in the dream state, is U, the second matra, because it is the elevation [utkarsha, of sound from its first modality, just as the subtle state is, in formal manifestation, of a more exalted order than the gross state[ and also because it participates in both [ubhaya, that is to say, alike by its nature and by its position, it is intermediate between the two extreme elements of the monosyllable Om, just as the dream state is intermediate, sandhya, between waking and deep sleep]. He who knows this in truth advances along the path of Knowledge [by his identification with Hiranyagarbha], and [being thus illumined] he is in harmony [samana, with all things, for he beholds the manifested Universe as the product of his own knowledge, which cannot be separated from him[, and none of his descendants [in the sense of spiritual posterity] will be ignorant of Brahma.

Prajna, the seat of which is in the state of deep sleep, is M, the third matra, because it is the measure [miti, of the other two], as well as because it is the end [of the sacred monosyllable Om]. He who knows this is in truth the measure of this whole [the aggregate of the ‘three worlds’ or different degrees of universal Existence, of which pure Being is the ‘determinant’], and he becomes the final term [of all things, by concentration in his own ‘Self’ or personality, where all the states of manifestation of his being are rediscovered, ‘transformed’ into permanent possibilities].

We can note in passing that only in this quite universal (and unintended) sense can the saying ‘man is the measure of all things’ be said to convey any truth.

The Fourth is ‘non-characterized’ [amatra, unconditioned]: it is actionless, without any trace of the development of manifestation, abounding in Bliss and without duality [Shiva Advaita]: that is Omkara [the sacred monosyllable considered independently of its matras], that assuredly is Atma [in Itself, outside of and independtly of any condition or determination whatever, even of the principial determination which is Being itself]. He who knows this enters verily into his own ‘Self’ by means of that same ‘Self’ [without the intermediary of knowing, which can attain to a state of the ‘Self’ but not to Paramatma, the supreme ‘Self’].[1]

Thus, it should be clear why meditation on the sacred monosyllable is valuable, since through its repetition one travels the path of realization: first through the corporeal modality, then through its extension into the subtle, and finally into the supra-individual, which is to say formless. The three parts having been contemplated in succession, they are then comprehended as a unity, which is the realization of the Supreme Identity.

[1] Mandukya Upanishad, I.8-12.

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