Dear Yins and Yangs,
Do you know what Israel means or Tao means? Would you be surprised if i say that both means the same?
It was last week of Jan 2008, i was returning from Las Vegas to India and picked up a book from my backpack as i settled in the flight. The visit was for a sales conference and generally given the hectic(!) activity list you generally carry for such occasions and that too to a venue like LA, it was natural to assume that i would have slept for the next 18 hours till some one woke me up at Bangalore airport.
Something very different happened to my surprise and to the surpise of few friends who travelled with me. I was completely awake reading this 150 odd page book through out the journey, not reading once but thrice over and over. Its a book by Osho, "Tao - its history & teachings" and needless to add that the impact it had on me was tremendous and also the implicit message was i did not understand it in one go - though i was very excited and determined to read it again. On my way to my house i was wondering was it Osho or Taoism with which i was so impressed. Unable to conclude / decide on one, i safely decided to abandon this thought.
I had read about Taoism many years before when i was initiated in "Tai Chi" - a form of chinese martial arts and most important symbol that is impressioned in my mind was Yinyang. One book i would seriously recommend if you like eastern principles and science (Quantum physics) is The Tao of Physics - Fritjof Capra. This is one of the books which changes your way of thinking in a very positive way and deals with most of the eastern philosophies and Quantum physics.
I am not certainly going to bore you with Taoism / Yinyang which you can google - if you are interested. Here is a quick link ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_and_yang
In one of the passages Osho explains what Israel means. Is-Ra-el:
Is - As in Egyptian moon goddess ISIS. Also babylonian moon goddess is Ishtar. Hence IS is moon / feminine principle also known as Yin.
Ra - Egyptian sun god representing the masculine principle. Also to note that Lord Rama in Hinduism is a king in the solar dynasty. In Taoism the masculine principle is Yang.
El - Elohim - Hebrew word for god and El reprsents the union / meeting.
So the explanation goes as the meeting of masculine and feminine and their transcedence. This explanation holds good for Tao and Israel both and both meaning the same. Lets look at the symbols that represent them:
Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3
Both of them represent in some way union the union or interconnectedness or harmonious existence of opposing forces or duality. Lets also look at the hinduism connection to both of the above:
- The IS / Yin and Ra / Yang concept is very well represented in the ancient yogic techniques and many would have heard about Ida (Moon - left) and Pingala (Sun - right side) nadis (Channels) that run through human body. There are loads and loads of literature in Yoga and Ayurveda which tells us how to manage and balance them for healthy worldy and spiritual life.
- From a religious perspective have a look at the image below which is that of Arthanareeswara - Half male and half female (Artha - Half, Naaree - Female) signifying this from a religious perspective.
- Sri Chakra which is a symbolic representation of the female goddess in hinduism explains that that triangle points up is male (Shiva) and the triangle pointing down is Shakti (Female).
Infact both the above points are known many of you and there would be nothing new in this. What prompted me to write this blog was something more.
Few days back I was reading (actually re-reading) a book called "Deivathin Kural" - essentially collection of discourses of Sri Chandrasekara swamigal of Kanchi (a very revered monk) who is believed by a section of the society in India - to be a representation of god in the 20th century living among us. There are about 7 volumes, each volume running to 1000+ pages. The passage was from the 7th volume where he highlights that Shiva and Vishnu as cosmic powers are not only dependent on each other but cannot exist without the other. The sectional fighting among Shaivites and Vaishnavities claiming either Shiva or Vishnu is superior to the other was a fine blend of ignorance and arrogance. He quotes a passage from Skandopanishad:
"Vishnoshcha hridayam Shivaha
Shivasya hridayam Vishnuhu"
which means "The heart of vishnu is shiva" and the "the heart of Shiva is Vishnu". Shiva represents the Static principle / the nucleus / white color and Vishnu represents the dynamic principle / dynamic energy / black color. The word "Krishna" in sanskrit means black / dark in color.
So try to imagine that Shiva (White) and Vishnu (black / dark) are coexisting, balancing each other and one resides in the heart of another. One of the first symbol that came to my mind was the YinYang diagram represented above in Figure 1. But taking this thinking a little further if the dark spot in the white area is Vishnu, then Vishnu's heart / center of the black spot should be white. Same way the white spot in the black area is Shiva but its heart has to be white.
So the actual representation should be Yinyang symbol with the black and white spots in turn should have white and black spots in them respectively and those white and dark spots should have their hearts again. Hence this can go on till we can distinguish subsequent white and dark spots progressively within the symbol in a sort of concentric way.
So for the last few days i have been trying to imagine how this symbol would look like and failed miserably since i could not progress beyond a point. This is when i accidentally landed upon the image below (Figure 4) when i googled for something else.
So its the excitement of finding something that you have been looking for - though accidentally - prompted this blog.
There is a very popular saying in Sanskrit "Ekam sat, vipra bahuta vadanthi" - meaning there is only one truth (god) which is called by different names. This blog may sound like a Interfaith article but the thought remains that all these beliefs were connected to a common root and that too not so long ago. We have lost that connection some where, some how, ignored the message and fighting over the messengers.
There are differences, for example unlike popular hindu beliefs that the realization of god or nirvana or moksha as the goal of life, Taosim states that the journey is the goal and there is no destination otherwise. So lets enjoy the journey!
With the government repealing article 357, who knows, there may be new symbols generated in this generation of Yang-Yang and Yin-Yin too. But till then,