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    Stages of Evolution 

       Disciple: You mentioned certain stages, from the realm of the vetalas -elemental spirits, demons- to the World of the devas -‘gods’ misconceived by the Hindu tradition as spiritually liberated souls. How does one get this knowledge?

         Guru: It is indeed difficult to get this knowledge. Only Gurus who take birth toguide an age, get the full knowledge of these realms. Other Gurus, do get knowledge but not in all its aspects. Even if a Guru sees the World from its creation and has the genius to utilize that perception, it would still be difficult to actualize the process within a single life-span. All factors may not be favorable for actualizing. What then is to be done? One stops there!

        The stages after the vetala realm are more bearable. In other words one is evolving towards the deva stage, a stage which will appear very attractive. The Trimurti stage can follow almost immediately after. The ease that comes now is a relief from the earlier difficulties. Needless to say, the term Vetalanagaram itself indicates a region of intense hardships.

        We have to go through many an agony and learn numerous facts about this reality. Human beings and even animals around us are instruments appointed by God to hurt us; they are like stones and thorns that trouble our steps.

        There is only one difference between the aspirant and those who hinder him. The motive of the former is good -he is good in thought and action.

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    The latter do not have any consideration for what is good. In his contemporaries the aspirant will experience all the powers and qualities of the demons. Their attitude towards him will be like that of Hiranyakasyapa -demon king. They would want to make him comply with their wishes. Indescribable is the struggle to overcome this opposition.

        After this, the experience of the deva stage would be a relief. You may even experience the glory of the Trimurti. At this stage, the seeker will be perceived by his followers as a saint or a deva like the Trimurti -Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

        It is not surprising then, that he has a sense of omnipotence and becomes arrogant. But neither this man of attainment nor his followers, would be able to know that such attainment, merely reflects the cyclical nature of the celestial World. No one is to be blamed for this confusion that sets in at the deva phase of one's spiritual evolution. It is a realm where such experiences are bound to be. Look at the description of Kailasa -peak and abode of Shiva- in the Puranas -Hindu epics, sacred scriptures of an historical and prophetic character. What pomp and folly! If you read Shivapuranam, mythological writings conceiving Shiva as the Almighty, it would be clear to you. It is the same case with Vishnupuranam. In it Vishnu is presented as the supreme power.

        In the light of actual experience, one realizes that these various Puranas contain just a fraction of what is. It is proclaimed in the Puranas themselves

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    that one arrives at the fulfillment of spiritual experience, only through many successive life-spans. This has been confirmed by our own experience. Thus a soul, which has led a life of purity one life-time after the other, reaches certain realms of punya, merit, and stays there.

        Have you not heard of heavenly bodies like ‘Sukra’, ‘Arundhati’ and others? Some enormous, some small. These are mandalas, stages of varying degrees of purity. It might not be possible to gain subtle knowledge of them individuall

         Disciple: What is to be done at the deva stage the

         Guru: There are celestial bodies, constellations beyond the nine planets including the Earth.

         Disciple: That is clear.

         Guru: There is a stage above the Trimurti, from which one can know about these celestial bodies. Only from such a stage can these be known. In the initial phase of the Trimurti stage, levels up to the Iswara stage, seventh stage, come within the perceptive and experiential range of the seeker. Do you think it is possible to experience and express all this or even to pursue the course of action necessary to complete one of these stages?

         Disciple: From what you have said, it does sound very difficult.

         Guru: If these realities themselves are so complex and difficult to perceive, how much more difficult will it be to overcome and transcend these antagonistic forces and their misinformation. When the seeker begins to

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    cross these stages, people who had found him good and respected him until then, turn hostile. Even those who might have sung his praises till then, view him with contempt and heap calumny upon him. All these people would intimidate and torture him in every possible manner. The seeker’s image gets absolutely tarnished. People will not get to see the real man. When you read history you will see how such seekers are misregarded and persecuted.

        Why go into history? Have you not seen this in our own times?

         Disciple: Yes…

         Guru: Do you know how and in what ways this antagonism manifests itself?

         Disciple: I have some idea but it is not really clear.

    Next Chapter: Science, its Consequences and God Men

    Any Questions?