Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people. I’ve done hundreds of them now. And if this is new to you, you’d like to check out previous ones go to batgap.com and look under the past interviews menu. This program is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. And so if you support or appreciate it and feel like supporting it, there’s a PayPal button on every page of the site. And there’s a donation page that explains all their alternatives for people who don’t like PayPal. And thanks again to those who have been supporting it. My guest today is Kavitha Chinnaiyan, MD. She is a cardiologist an integrative cardiologist because she is also a meditation teacher. expert in higher VEDA Tantric Yoga, she became drawn to the direct path through the teachings of Greg good who has been on BatGap and Shri Atmananda Krishna Menon and has studied yoga, st Vidya sadhana, Vedanta and tantra through the teachings of the Qin Maya mission, Shri Prem Ananda Sally Kempton, who has been on BatGap, Paul Mueller Ortega, who has been on BatGap and Shri Chaitanya Ananda, not the Saraswathi, who hasn’t gotten back yet. She blends her expertise in cardiology with her knowledge of Ira VEDA, yoga Vedanta tundra, and the direct path in her approach to healing, enabling patients to discover bliss amid chronic illness. She’s an associate professor of medicine at Oakland University, William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, Michigan. And she’s the author of Shakti rising, published last year, non duality press and the heart of wellness, which I don’t have a copy of, so I can’t hold up, which is coming out actually just coming out this month, or just came out or what just came out, just came out, which is more of a health oriented book. Shakti rising, is subtitled embracing shadow and light on the goddess path to wholeness. And, well, first of all, welcome COVID Glad to have you.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Thanks so much for having me here.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And this is an interesting book, when you first glance at it, you see all these photos of, you know, Indian goddesses and you know, with skulls around their necks and drinking blood and cutting off heads and all that stuff. And you might think, you know, firstly, I’m not a Hindu. And secondly, you know, that’s all mythology and a Buddha and doesn’t interest me that much. But if you actually read the book, as I have almost in its entirety, you discover that, you know, these archetypes are symbolic, are representative of a very sophisticated and subtle understanding of the mechanics of creation. And in fact, I betcha if you no qualified quantum physicist were to read this book, he could, or he or she could draw correlations between a lot of the things that Kavita explains in it, and his or her understanding of physics at the cutting edge of that discipline. So it’s, it’s a credit to covet, I think, for ferreting out the implications of these archetypes and also from credit to the tradition from which they come for understanding so deeply the mechanics of creation and portraying them in in a sort of artistic or archetypical form, which, you know, probably most scholars have dismissed as quaint mythology, but which is really profound and significant. Anyway, that’s a bit of a mouthful, but what do you think? Is that a fair assessment of what I what you intended to convey in the book?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Absolutely, that’s, that’s absolutely right on target. Good.
Rick Archer: Another thing that well, I have four pages of notes here, so we’re going to spend a couple hours getting into all kinds of interesting stuff. But one thing that struck me fairly soon in reading the book, and was actually mentioned in the bio that I just read is direct path and I actually moderated a panel discussion on the direct versus progressive path, the science non duality conference last October. And, and I felt like in reading your book and hearing your explanation of direct path that I, again, a much better understanding of what that term actually means. Even though I prepared for and moderated that panel, maybe just for starters, we could start in many places, but why don’t you define what is meant by direct path as contrasted with progressive death?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Sure. So the progressive paths, you know, are the paths that most of us are familiar with yoga and tantra, and even Vedanta, to a large extent, because they start with the assumption that who we are, is this limited body mind, and that we are going towards a goal of remembering or discovering the self. Whereas the direct path actually starts with the premise that we are already that. And so what happens if you stand in your direct experience, you know, devoid of conditioning or devoid of stories? And if you were just to look at your direct experience alone? What would that look like? For instance, if you were to look at an object, you know, without any of the labeling that occurs regarding the object, what would happen to that object if we took a stand as the self, or awareness? And so the stand from which we approach a path is, is what determines whether it’s progressive or the direct path? Because ultimately, even in the progressive paths? At no point, are we ever separate from awareness? We’re always that, but it’s just, we begin with the, you know, with the goal seemingly, in the future, that we are going to discover that whereas here, we start with that premise already.
Rick Archer: Is there an overlap? Can the direct path is the direct path progressive? And is the progressive path? Or can it be in some respects direct?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, so you know, the direct path. It’s very interesting. Because Greg, you know, who is really my teacher in the direct path will say, and that, Greg good, will say that, even to have arrived at the direct path, most people have done years of practice in the progressive paths, it because it’s such a subtle thing to, to tell somebody who is not familiar at all with this, and say, Now take a stand as awareness. That’s a very, that’s, it’s a very subtle thing. So it makes sense only after years of having studied in the progressive paths, suddenly, it makes sense, right. So
Rick Archer: that was actually going to add a question, you know, because people think they hear about this, and they think, hey, why not the direct path wife was a goof around for a decade, I just assumed, you know, get right onto it. And then you have all these people that have read it, some Vedanta books, and so on, proclaiming themselves already enlightened, and everybody’s already enlightened, and you don’t have to do anything. And, you know, going on and on and internet chat groups. So I, I must admit that I developed a bit of a resentment or bias against against that sort of angle. But anyway, let’s go ahead.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: So, you know, I think it’s really important to clarify that the direct path isn’t Neo Vedanta, you know, which is what you were just right. Yeah, the new Advaita, which is, there’s nobody to do anything, it never says that, you know, the direct path in the tradition of Shri Atman of the Krishna Menon never talks about any of that. It’s just saying, you know, well, what is really happening in your direct experience right now. And so it goes through a very systematic process of looking at the world, looking at our bodies, looking at, you know, objects of the sense objects, and so on, in, in purely the direct experience. And so, it’s tempting to think that the direct path is somehow going to be shorter. It isn’t, you know, just because it’s direct is doesn’t mean that somehow you’re going to be enlightened in this moment. There is still a lot of work to do, because taking a stand as awareness isn’t something that comes naturally to most of us. And so, taking a stand there and doing the inquiry is a process it is progressive in that way.
Rick Archer: Yeah. When you say taking a standard as awareness what comes to my mind is that many people might try to do that and ended up being manipulative of their experience, you know, like they’re, they’re driving the car or their shop. thing where they’re having a dinner conversation. And part of their mind is trying to kind of take a stand as awareness as they’re doing that which in my understanding would divide the mind and divide the attention and not be helpful.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Absolutely, it’s so, you know, this is not something that Greg says, you know, in his teachings of the direct path, but something that I feel as a long term meditator, and I’m a proponent of meditation for various reasons, that, you know, that taking a stand is of awareness actually becomes more natural, when we have cultivated the witnessing ability, which is something that happens with a long term deep meditation practice. And that, you know, in the context of inner silence, that makes more sense otherwise, exactly, as you said, you know, we’re manipulating experience to think that we are standing as awareness, whereas actually, it’s all mental noise.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And when you say witnessing ability, I think of witnessing more as a natural condition that develops eventually, rather than a skill that one acquires. Absolutely, yeah. And so you know, if witnessing is genuine, it’s not some attitude that one adopts or some manipulation that one tries to continue throughout the day or anything. But it’s a it’s just a way of being where you could be involved in dynamic activity. And yet, there’s this pure silence and this sense, have a very distinct sense of an involvement because pure silence is on involved in activity, and it could present it should ultimately, ideally, eventually persist throughout sleep. So yeah, you couldn’t manipulate that.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes, absolutely. And so and and that can’t be faked. It can’t. It’s not it can’t be adopted, as you said. But it’s something that kind of naturally unfolds over a long term meditation practice. Wouldn’t you agree as a long term meditator? Yeah,
Rick Archer: it does. Yeah. And I was, I was interviewing a guy one time we got on this topic. And he said, Oh, I can witness anytime. And then he said, Here, watch, I’ll show you. And he kind of went into this spacey detached sort of thing. Like he wasn’t all there. And I thought, That’s not witnessing, as I understand it.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: No, that’s not how I understand that, either. It’s, and this is a thing, you know, it’s, you know, I’m sure we’ll get into this. But, you know, tantra is this science of absolute intimacy with experience. However, to get there, we first need to create that space between the subject and the object, you know, which is what witnessing does. And we need that space, in order to be able to look at our own processes, we need that space to stand back. And that’s really what witnessing cultivate. I mean, it provides, you know, over time,
Rick Archer: so would you say that you are one would do something to cultivate that space between subject and object? Or would you say that that’s something that one eventually notices. After sufficient practice?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: I think it was one, it just happens that we’re over time, it’s over time with a culture, you know, with a dedicated meditation practice, and I say, meditation practice, because that’s what worked for me and works for people I know. For the people I teach meditation to and there may be other things that work for other people. But this is something that, that I know, works very effectively, effectively.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And just to kind of clarify more, maybe, you know, when we say subject and object, well, what do you mean by subject when you say, so we know what we mean by objects, trees, and dogs and everything, but what is What do you mean by subject? Between which, there’s going to be a space that objects?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, so, you know, when we think about objects, you know, traditionally, we think of physical objects, like, you know, the table and the chair and the tree, and so on. But actually, everything that is experienced is an object or a thought or thought or emotion, any any perception, any sensation, all of those things are really objects, but who are all these things occurring to? What is that? And that is the subject. So there is the soul subject and everything appears to that subject. Now, they’re all objects.
Rick Archer: Yes. Okay. So we can say that the mechanics of perception are such that there’s an observer, there’s, there’s the observed, and then there’s the process of observation, right?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes, absolutely. That’s, you know, the classic triad, right?
Rick Archer: And process would involve the mind the nervous system, the senses and all that. So what is that observer? We it’s pretty easy to put your finger on the object or even The, you know, the mechanics of perception, but how about the perceiver? Or the observer? What is that?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, so that basically sums up the spiritual path for me, which is, what is that observer? Because, ordinarily, we think the observer is this person that resides in this body, most of us don’t think the body as ourselves, you know, we think that whatever’s inside the body that is, you know, being the puppeteer of the body is who we are, right, there’s the subtle body. So, we take that to be the subject, but then what the spiritual path shows us is that that too, is an object, right? And so, the subject then is is aware of pure awareness, which is which is not localized to the body in the mind, it is more global, where even this person occurs in that awareness and that global awareness. So that process from the subject, you know, with the small s, moving on to the, the subject with a with a capital S, would be the journey basically. Okay,
Rick Archer: good. I think most people listening to this will be familiar with that kind of notion. And so just to put a lid on it, the, the subject, which we hope to discover, through spiritual path, is not going to be discovered in the way that we discover Antarctica or, or something under a microscope or, or it’s not something that can be observed through the senses, any more than the classic example, a more than the eyeball can sort of perceive itself. It’s that which perceives?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes, exactly. Yes. And, and I think we’ll get more into that as we go into the path of the Goddess. But that kind of knowledge is, is actually one of the subtle veils that are very, very difficult to pierce through.
Rick Archer: Well, let’s get into the path of the Goddess, you talk about how the feminine power became sidelined, I think that would be interesting to start with. Historically, what what happened?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Well, you know, a lot of the reports, for instance of yoga, if you look at, you know, the origin of yoga, there are many different theories and many different kinds of historical perspectives on on how yoga began. But one perspective is that, because women have the cyclical nature, you know, they have the cycles of menstruation and birth and menopause and so on, it is much more easy for women to actually observe their own physiological processes, which is what happens to the not just the, you know, the reproductive system, but how it affects everything else, because of the cyclical nature’s and the nature of the woman. And so one theory in terms of the origin of yoga states that actually it was something that was discovered by women in the, you know, in the pre Vedic times, and and so they began to actually observe their physiology and to see could could we control this, you know, could we influence this by breath practices are through certain postures, or by changing the way that we think or feel and, and began to actually experience changes in their cycles as a result of changing these kinds of, you know, the prana in the body, and so on. So, and then they taught it to the men, because, because it’s like, you know, ultimately, it’s about progeny and the quality of the progeny. So, if we can teach it to the men and have them also purify this prana and, and have the highest quality progeny as a result of that. And so they taught it to the men and eventually in in the Vedic times, or and moving forward after that, somehow women were just excluded from from all of them. And so the very processes that actually helped create that, you know, menstruation and and so on, especially in the in the Hindu tradition became a taboo, that because women are going through these cyclical processes, they are impure or they should not be taught this and while there is some wisdom in in women not doing certain practices because it affects their physiology. It was just taken as, you know, being impure or inferior. and passed on through centuries of that kind of wrong kind of thinking, which is still widely prevalent right now.
Rick Archer: Yeah. If you give credence to the notion of the yugas, or any other model of ages and cycles with throughout history, do you kind of see the the patriarchal dominance as being characteristic or symptomatic of the so called Kali yuga? Or the dark age in which we seem to have found ourselves? And do you see this, me to movement in the whole awakening of the feminine and divine feminine and emphasis and women’s role in spirituality and so on to be a kind of a harbinger of better times?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: I certainly hope so. And, yeah, I think it’s very interesting, you know, this whole issue of the Kali yuga. And it’s like, it seems like that that seems to be true, not just in our political and cultural and social kinds of upheaval that the whole world seems to be going through right now. But also natural disasters and everything, for instance, that California is going through or other places are going through, it’s like a an absolute upheaval that changes the only way that whatever is the dominant structure, whatever is kind of crystallized into being the norm is not going to work anymore. And so too, with the, you know, the me to movement, and the redefining of those roles, you know, the gender roles and saying, Well, it’s time to question those, you know, crystallized ways of thinking and conditioning that somehow we as the world have, you know, we have just kind of accepted to be the norm. Yeah,
Rick Archer: you and I were talking about armor before we started here. And, you know, she’s doing things, she’s been doing things all along in India, I mean, the very fact of what she does was totally shocking to a lot of sort of male dominated thinkers, in India, touching people and hugging people, and so on. But then she’s also tried to put women in roles that are ordinarily reserved for men, you know, in various temple functions, and certain yogic ‘s and things like that, which women weren’t supposed to be able to do.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, absolutely. And so she is an absolute, you know, she’s a trailblazer, you know, on this whole, in this whole spiritual movement. And so what really attracts me to this, this path of the divine feminine, is that even though you know, the traditional spiritual paths have been patriarchal, there have been some traditions where it has not been the case, where the women are still given their equal place in in the, in the path on the path, and are, are the actual keepers of that tradition. So you won’t even find these teachers. So you won’t even find these women, they are not, you know, they are not going to be announcing themselves to be teachers. So it’s really a stroke of luck, if you can find someone like that to work with. And but but there is that unbroken tradition still,
Rick Archer: yeah, well, here at BatGap. We have a policy these days, least last year to have in interviewing an equal number of men and women. You know, it’s like Irene says, Okay, we’re looking at March. So here’s two men now we need two women. And so we really, we really tried to stick to that.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Oh, thank you. Thank you for doing that.
Rick Archer: Okay, so, Shakti in the Malchut videos. So the MaHA videos, as I understand it, will you go ahead and define them?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Sure. So Maha means great. And Vidya means knowledge or wisdom. So these are the goddesses of great wisdom, great goddesses of cosmic wisdom, many different ways of defining them, but that’s really the essence of the definition of the word mahavidya. And there are traditionally 10 ma videos or 10, goddesses of great wisdom. The most famous of them is Kali. And what makes them great, you know what, what is it that makes the sequence of this group of goddesses, so unique is the first aspect is that they, each of these goddesses represents a force of creation. Like collied represents time Bhuvaneshwari represents space and so on. So there is one thing that is one thing they all have in common, the other they all have in common is that they are all fierce. So, you don’t see any of the, you know, the demure Enos in them, and you don’t see the patriarchal definition of femininity in them because they defy all such norms of what the feminine is supposed to be. And, and they defy those norms, because Shakti is everything, you know, she is all of creation. So
Rick Archer: many of the images of their fierceness depict them taking it out on men standing on them locking their heads up cutting, their smashing, they’re pulling their tongues out
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: it well, you know, they are they are typically representing, you know, the man, the poor man, you know, all of these in all of these imageries is Shiva. But there is, of course, as you know, there is a very deep symbolism behind that. But, you know, it’s not like, it’s not like these Goddesses are, you know, they are not propagating this kind of a, you know, what I call the misinformed feminism, that’s not what these Goddesses are about. But they, whether we are or whether I’m a man or a woman, the MaHA videos are, are going to be extremely important, because the the third thing they all have in common is they all represent aspects of our own psyche, and our own, you know, the kinds of things that keep us bound to this, to thinking that the self is this body mind, which is what I call the shadow aspects. And then they also have the opposing quality of the light, which leads us to liberation from that. So they and so they are not, you know, how deities always represent the highest in any particular tradition, and they are pure goodness, or pure light. So the MaHA videos are not like that, because they represent, they don’t exclude the darkness. So they, they include all of that darkness and all of the, you know, the so called negative aspects to show that Shakti does not prefer one thing over the other, she’s everything.
Rick Archer: Well, if we look at the actual Universe, it’s a pretty wild place. I mean, yeah, there, you know, planets getting smashed by asteroids and getting melted by, you know, expanding suns, and, you know, all kinds of, you know, violent placement and full beauty full of violence, and death and life. And I mean, the whole spectrum of possibilities is on full display. Yes. So, if these goddesses represent the impulses of intelligence governing the universe, then it’s completely in keeping with the iconography that they, you know, have these fierce aspects, I would say, as well as compassionate aspects. I mean, their whole point is not to just wreak havoc, but to destroy ignorance and to liberate people and so on.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes, absolutely. And so, you know, this is this is why they really force us to kind of smash our own stereotypes of what we think we are. Because, you know, for instance, we talk about Ahimsa, non violence as the fundamental you know, the fundamental ethic of yoga, for instance, or of any spiritual path, but the new you know, you look at Kali or any of these goddesses, you know, their, their imagery is one is very violent, right? And so, especially Kali, for instance, and if you look at Cali, you wouldn’t be thinking, well, she’s representing non violence. You know, that’s not what comes to mind. It’s extremely gory and violent, but but as time you know, as the force of time it’s the perfect you know, representation if you ask me because time is wildland it’s ruthless, doesn’t wait for anybody doesn’t care about, uh, you know, our precious, you know, memories and so on. It’s just, it doesn’t wait for anybody doesn’t care about anybody. It’s always going right. And so she is showing that and, and, you know, when we think about life itself, ask a woman who’s given birth if that was a nonviolent process All right, you know. So everything, you know, by by taking birth, you know, just taking birth itself as a violent process. So, you know, if we don’t accept that, then we are living in delusion, that there is going to be a place of absolute non violence all the time, there’s never going to be such a thing.
Rick Archer: So how do you reconcile the prescription of Ahimsa in in Patanjali is yoga with the reality of the universe and with the depiction of these Maha villages.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: So I think that’s a you know, that’s, that can be a path in itself over a lifetime, you know, this, this real discovery of Ahimsa within ourselves and the actual practice of it, because we sent it to me, I think that, you know, non violence is about not killing and not, you know, doing these kinds of bad things to other people, which is, of course, part of that, but it’s much more subtle than that, you know, especially as spiritual practitioners and and spiritual seekers. We are, we can be extremely violent and the way we judge other people who are perhaps not on the path, and how we judge ourselves and how we judge everything and think that this is not how it should be. So any resistance to what is, is violence. And, and and just to come to that acceptance, I think is the path of Kali.
Rick Archer: That’s true. I mean, Kali herself is not resisting what is. One thing that comes to my mind is James Bond, he had a license to kill, right. But that nut, but ordinarily, people don’t have that license. And so perhaps we could say that a spiritual seeker, it behooves or is incumbent upon a spiritual seeker to practice Ahimsa to be non violent. But if you happen to have risen to the the level of, you know, one of the fundamental impulses of intelligence governing the universe, then then some sort of violence is within your job description.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know, we have to be violent sometimes in in very subtle ways within ourselves, right? If you have these recurring, you know, self defeating thoughts, for instance, then we can invoke Kali to be head on, you know, yeah, so cut them off, right at the source, but but see how violence is required sometimes. And, you know, if you’re a parent, you’ll you’ll understand that sometimes, you know, you, you need to be able to communicate with your children in a way. That seems violent. But actually, it isn’t. Right. Right. In the grand scheme of things. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Seems violent to the child, like stop scrubbing behind my ear, you know, or, or you’re depriving me of this candy.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, let me be on my phone 24 hours a day.
Rick Archer: I’m sure you know, why can’t getting any kind of actual violence against children, but you know, things from the child? seem so mean and unfair? Yeah,
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: exactly. Yeah. And I say that, you know, as a mother of two teenagers, and, you know, and trying to direct them always into things that are, you know, more wholesome is, as in Don’t be on your for a phone 12 hours a day, because it’s your brain really not. It rots your brain. Exactly.
Rick Archer: Yeah, well, it’s interesting, actually, because this points to a deeper point, maybe you’ve already kind of said it. But if we, if we regard the universe as being one giant evolution machine is having an ever evolutionary agenda, or trajectory, then you know, all the stuff that happens, however violent, it may seem, is ultimately in our best interest. If it’s if it’s true, that the universe has this evolutionary tendency or direction, which seems to have if you look at its violent birth as the Big Bang, and then it’s evolution over 1413 point 7 billion years to where we gotten it all involves, you know, exploding stars, and, you know, all kinds of wild things happening in order to make life possible.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, absolutely. And even though, you know, we were talking about the yugas earlier, and and if you look at, you know, every yuga has had, you know, its share of violence and its share of the, you know, the bad guys so to speak. So it seems like somehow, well, we are in this current era of really bad things happening, but but at no point in creation, has there been a time when that has not been the case? You know, because that is really part of the whole and, you know, Kali sadhana, or the sadhana of this particular mahavidya actually shows us that, you know, that we need to get beyond ourselves in the way we think and because creation itself moves us As a whole, it isn’t, you know, restricted or there isn’t. Collie doesn’t prefer one thing over another, everything is part of it.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And the balance keeps shifting between sattwa, rajas, and tamas and whatever other. exactly do you want to define that? You know, there’s a, there’s a cyclical nature to everything. Yeah, absolutely. Turn, turn, turn. Okay. Now, here’s a question. If my, who we talked, we’ve alluded to the notion of the universe, being intelligent, and everything, nothing being arbitrary or, or accidental or capricious, there’s this sort of infinite intelligence in every iota of creation, and every vast phenomenon as well, galaxies and their interactions and so on. So when I think of these goddesses I, you know, I, I wonder whether it would be actually possible to get down to some level, where you would actually see one of them, as depicted in these in these sorts of photos, you know, this kind of thing, oops, there it is, or whether those are just sort of artistic representations of, you know, streams of intelligence or impulses of intelligence, which perform various functions. But when I say that, I don’t mean to depersonalized them, because I think that any by definition, an impulse of intelligence, gross or subtle, is a conscious being, we are an impulse of intelligence, there are angels and celestial beings, who are impulses of intelligence and who are conscious beings in their own right. And I suspect that these my villages, if they really exist, are conscious beings who have a universal frame of reference or universal territory of influence, you know, that they are, you know, kind of on the upper echelons of the hierarchy of creation and have a function that, that encompasses the entire universe, or universes as the case may be, what do you think about that?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, and that’s exactly how I feel is that there that so, you know, to back up a little bit. So, to, to say that, for instance, to really define, you know, these mahavidya so, you know, what are they so, and so, we have to just talk a little bit about this, this dichotomy between Shiva and Shakti. Because then we can understand that which is, you know, in the tantric tradition, there is this potential before anything, so with all of creation rests as a potential and latent potential undifferentiated, and the first movement within that potential is self recognition or it is self awareness. And so, it is said that, Shakti is and Shiva separate in that self recognition. So she is his self recognition. So, it’s like that, that undifferentiated potential looking in the mirror and finding that the one here is Shiva and there is Shakti, but they are actually one in the same and so, with that differentiation, you know, there is the whole creation process begins after that, you know, that that is the moment of the Big Bang, so to speak, that self awareness, and, but, but in order to understand that, beyond that, then you know, what creates space and time and this expansion of the universe and you know, this, this creation of separate beings and so on. So, Shakti is Shiva has creative power. So, it is said that, you know, Shiva is pure awareness and pure awareness is attribute lessness. And so there are no attributes, Shiva cannot create, because his creative power is Shakti. And so, that creates creative power. So, if we have to create something, we need several different skills, right. And so, those skills of creation are these Maha videos, so as time and space and as the intention or will and knowledge and action and so on. So, so, Shakti, taking different forms, are these Maha videos, so, she is actually there’s only one but she takes all these different forms, to go ahead with the process of creation. But they’re all powers of Shiva. So you know, they’re always wanted the same. So you know, so they are universal in that, and but also they form each of these Maha videos forms a focal point of our sadhana and our devotion and our practice. And so anytime a day, it becomes the focal point of a practice. We see them. As such, you know, in our mind’s eyes.
Rick Archer: I mentioned earlier that I thought that if you if a qualified quantum physicists were to read this book, he would be able to correlate a lot of the things in it with the understanding that physics has come up with which because physics by definition is trying to understand the subtlest mechanics of creation from whence the whole creation arises, and how it how it diversifies and differentiates and manifests and so on. But there is one guy, there are a number of the MINUSCA fatos and, and others who’s who speak at the science and non duality conference. I’ve interviewed Matt OS and others, John Hagel and whom I’ve interviewed, who wrote a paper called his consciousness, the unified field and goes into a really interesting explanation of the sort of has, I think he calls it sequential, spontaneous symmetry breaking, that happens as oneness diversifies into multiplicity. So anyway, that’s just a reference for people who want to look into that side of it more. Okay, so, before we proceed, is there anything that you that has kind of come to your mind that you’d like to say? No, okay, good. So let’s, let’s start going through some of these Malchut images, and explaining the role and significance of each one and the first in your book and the first one you’ve primarily mentioned so far is Collie who represents time and which is also related to death where letting go and moving on brings new life. So what shall we say about her?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: You know, we could we could talk about Kali for hours, because there’s so much to say about her because she is, you know, in this in the among them Hobbit years, she represents time. And so she is the primordial force. And that’s why she’s also called Adi Shakti, the primordial the first Shakti because. And, and, and, you know, so in regards to Kali, I think, I think there are so many different aspects of Kali, and you know, she is the ultimate Goddess of transformation because time is transformation. And, and so, one thing that, I think it’s really important for me to say and, and, and to, and to just put it out there is that there is a lot of kind of correlation of Kali these days, with what I what I was saying earlier about misinformed feminism, as if, like, she is the goddess of vengeance, or that, you know, somehow we tend to justify our rage by portraying Kali AND and OR Durga or any of these goddesses as if saying, that, look, it’s a you know, I can embody that. But, but I what I want to say is no, we can’t embody that because she is Adi Shakti. And it’s going to take a lot more than rage to, to embody her. And, and, and that requires transcendence of time. And, and the limitations of linear time, which is really her biggest, you know, track or the way she interrupts us in this illusion of being this limited time, you know, time bound kind of person, with our stories and so on. So, you know, I think there is there is a lot of misunderstanding around Kali. Yeah.
Rick Archer: I mean, if as the story goes, her rage was a benign thing that she came into being to get rid of some real bad guys who are making a lot of trouble in the universe. And, and ordinary human rage isn’t necessarily so benign and constructive. It’s it can be damaging and violent and harmful. So, like, as you say, we shouldn’t necessarily use car only as an alibi for venting our anger.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah. And so you know, you bring up a really good point. And that story that you were relating from is from the Devi Mahatma, you know, where Kali actually leads leaps onto this battlefield, you know from their gods face. And it is exactly to vanquish these sorrows or these, you know, bad forces of the universe. But however, the Devi actually in in the Devi Mahathir says, there is nobody to kill because they’re all me. And and so her rage and her destruction, they’re all a show because the you know, the good and the bad there is she’s she declares that they’re also my children. They’re also me. And so you know that that non differentiation between me and other is is the fundamental principle, right? And if we we can’t embody Carly’s rage unless, you know that is also our state of being that non separation.
Rick Archer: Yeah, good. It says stuff like that, too. You know, weapons cannot cleave him fire cannot burn and water cannot win and win cannot drive away. And so on the sort of indestructibility of the of the self, which is obviously not true of the body. So yeah, we have to know ourselves as being that which is unbelievable, and so on, or else we’re just sort of misapplying levels.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes, exactly. And, you know, in the 11th Chapter of the Gita, when, when Lord Krishna shows his universal form, and the visual Rupa to Arjuna, he’s Arjuna was actually shocked to see that, you know, even the Kauravas are part of Krishna. You know, there is all the bad boys in that story. Yes, everybody is swirling around. And Krishna as far as like, you know, he’s everywhere he is in capacity, everything.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, if we think of Krishna as God, and if we define God as the sort of Universal Intelligence, which, even scientifically we can see is functional in every single particle of creation. We can’t, can’t find a place where we don’t see all those laws of nature functioning in one way or another, then obviously, it has to be a totality which contains all the parts there could be nothing outside of it.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Exactly. And so it is also you know, in the Bhagavad Gita, we call it we call that intelligence, Krishna. And in the Devi traditions, we call that intelligence, Devi, or Shakti,
Rick Archer: was just kind of commenting with someone the other day about one of the meanings for Krishna is black. And it’s interesting that the color black is it’s something anything that’s black absorbs all colors of the spectrum, it doesn’t reflect any. And that sum also reminds me of that saying that Brahman is the eater of everything. So somehow, the totality absorbs or eats or consumes or subsumes all the diversity.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: And so it is with Kali, you know, she she was absolutely black, you know, there is there’s so that’s how we differentiate her from Tara, for instance, who has a little bit of color, but Kali is absolutely black. She is the black goddess for the exact same reason, which is an end. I don’t know if you knew this, but Kali is supposed to be Krishna has Shakti or didn’t know that. I did. Yeah. Yeah. Yes. Yeah. So she is, you know, considered his Shakti. And, yeah.
Rick Archer: Now, you know, a lot of these goddesses, Kelly included, are always wearing Garland’s of skulls. Yeah, the, that’s, as I understand that’s supposed to be symbolic of the destruction of egos. In a good sense. Kind of like, which it would be destruction of ignorance. Yes, in a person. And so you know, in your book, you refer a lot to the AI self. And so I have some questions about the ice. Sure. Does everyone have one? Can we function without one? You there’s a quote in your book, the sense of separation is reinforced through comparison and judgment and the ice self grows stronger. Can one be utterly without an AI self and still function as a human being? Or does the need to be or does the AI self get transformed into something more pure, but there’s still some sort of recognition of a person here in order to live in the world?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, so that that is a great question. So, the first question, does everybody have one? Yes, unless we have, we can work through it and and so on, but yes, everybody has one because we are, you know, we are culturally and socially universally conditioned to develop one and that happens at a very early age, with with the with the formation of with giving a child a name, and suddenly There is a separation between me and the mother and me and me and everybody else. And that sense of me, is what I’m calling the eye self, which is, you know, the story of the me that that, you know, revolves around the body and the mind. And it called the ego in every tradition. And the ego, I specifically didn’t want to use the word ego, because sometimes it’s, it means an inflated sense of self. But I didn’t mind it, I specifically left that out, because you may not have an inflated sense of self, but you have a sense of self that is limited. And so that’s why I use the, you know, the ice self as the word. And so, is it possible to live without an ice self? Well, you know, there are, you know, accounts of people that live, how are have lived through the, you know, that whole, no self kind of an experience. Now, I forget, who is I am sure you are the experience
Rick Archer: of somebody who, you know,
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: the Christian mistake. Bernadette Roberts, yes. Bernadette Roberts, you know, have you read her book? The experience of no self? I’ve
Rick Archer: got it on the shelf here. I’ve dabbled. Yeah.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah. So, you know, she describes this whole process of how she lives through are lived through that phase of the complete falling away of the no self. Now, did you notice
Rick Archer: through that phase and eventually discover some yourself there?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: I think so. I think, you know, then she, she just she talks about coming back to the marketplace after having been a non for many, many years. And, and, and the, that sense of self coming back in a very different way. Yeah, different where it is, where it is more of a functional thing, right? Where it is, it is for living day to day, but there isn’t that self referential thing going on. And, you know, Gary Weber, and others talk about, you know, these, you know, the, the two neural pathways, one is the one that is constantly self referential, you know, this is the blah, blah, network. And then the other is the task positive network, which in which there isn’t the self referential thing going on all the time. And so if we lose that, the task positive network is still there. And you know, these sages call that the, the, you know, the state where the mind is your slave, rather than you’re the slave of the mind, where the mind is used for functional, you know, for doing practical things, but then it doesn’t exist otherwise. Yeah. And
Rick Archer: yeah, so but there is still is one, so yeah. So if you say, hey, Nisargadatta, would you like a cigarette or something? He knows who you’re talking to? Especially with the cigarettes. Yeah. And then obvious examples would be like, somebody has says they have no ice off, but then you stick a fork in their leg or something, they know that that’s happening. There’s some kind of localized identification with that experience. It’s not the same as sticking a fork in the table, or something like that, you know?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, absolutely. And so, you know, I think I think this is where there are subtle differences between, you know, the tantric path. And the other paths, I think this is, it’s one of those subtle things, where, you know, for instance, in my studies of Advaita Vedanta, the, the teaching or the general consensus was, you need to lose the ego. Right. And, and so, you know, that losing the ego is, is the beginning of Enlightenment, or the beginning of awakening. But, but that isn’t really the issue in Tantra, you know, it is actually refinement, where you know, that you’re not that, but then what that sense of self is, is continuously refined, where the understanding or the self knowledge actually pours through into the, into the body mind, where our functioning becomes more and more and more refined. So it is actually a two way journey, you know, where you’re going up and losing the sense of self, of course, that’s self referential kind of thing. But then the body mind obviously doesn’t go away, you’re still alive and you’re still functioning, you’re still living. So that light of you know, the self can be allowed to actually refine those conditions, pathways where you know, what that means is it’s very easy to be awake and still be at Dark. Yeah,
Rick Archer: you’re right, which and the question the whole issue of what it really means to be awake or what what an awakening really means. I mean, so many people say I’ve had an awakening, but I always think Yeah, fine, but there’s so many possibilities for the levels of awakening degrees of awakening. And, you know, one awakening does not a saint make.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes, exactly. And and, Oh, sounds are very beautiful in that it’s not like don’t limit you to attendance, it’s actually imminence also, which is the, the refinement of this body mind to two levels of functioning where the we are actually rewiring our neuro hormonal pathways. And you know, we’re rewiring the whole physiology basically, where we can live that light more and more.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And as a physician, I’m sure you know that the whole physiology doesn’t get rewired overnight. It’s some neuroplasticity and all that takes, it can be a lifelong process.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes, absolutely. And that’s what my other book is about, by the way.
Rick Archer: After read that, just one little comment, I want to I made up this metaphor the other day, it’s a variation on an old metaphor, but I was having discussion with a friend about this, no such thing. And it’s like, streams and rivers are completely distinct from one another, you know, the stream says, I have this stream, and I’m totally different than that stream. But once they reach the ocean, then they all kind of merge. And then they might say, Oh, I’m just the ocean. And, and but let’s say for the sake of the metaphor, that the streams don’t completely cease to exist, they become currents within the ocean. You know, and so our individuality doesn’t completely get obliterated, but it becomes sort of a component within a much greater wholeness. And, and initially, the ocean might say, I’m just the ocean, I don’t see any currents, you know. And conversely, the current might say, Oh, I see as the ocean I don’t, I’ve lost any sort of sense of individuality. But I think eventually, if you kind of delve into and become sensitive to the fine fabrics, of what’s going on within consciousness, you discover all these currents and impulses of intelligence and dynamic things taking place within the oneness within the wholeness. What do you think of that metaphor? Yeah.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: I love it. I love it. And and that’s, that’s, that’s absolutely beautiful. And that’s really you know, the, the, the crux of this path is is that there is the oneness, but there is also the uniqueness in which that oneness expresses itself.
Rick Archer: Yeah. In which and through which, yes, yeah. Okay. So getting back to my notes here. This is still in the Cali chapter of your book. As Kundalini touches, each chakra hidden issues surfaces so that they can be resolved. I thought that was just interesting that, you know, worth worth discussing a bit. So I can elaborate on the question, but I think you know what I’m talking about. So go ahead, go for it.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah. So, you know, when we think of Kundalini and I think this is where we really must define what Kundalini is because we somehow think of Kundalini as you know, there’s some kind of a huge energetic experience and then you’re all blissed out thereafter and so on. But that’s not really it, you know, the, the Kundalini is set to be active in on in the tantric traditions. When you develop a, you know, what, in Advaita Vedanta is known as Mumukshutva, you know, the burning desire for awakening, where it becomes the primordial focus of your life, you know, that’s when the Kundalini is set to be active, you may not have all these energetic experiences, you may not like, you know, have all this buzzing and the vibration and stuff. And, of course, a lot of people have that, but that isn’t really it. And
Rick Archer: the roughness and smoothness of it depends to a certain extent upon how impeded it is, you know, if there’s blockages then there can be a lot of intensity as those blockages are cleared, and other people hardly notice anything going on at all.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Absolutely. So it all has to do with the noddies because, you know, where the obstructions may be in the subtle body. And so the chakras are really the, you know, the confluence of these noddy’s at specific points and the hundreds of them throughout the you know, throughout the subtle body, but we are usually think of the chakras along the spine. And so with this, the activated Kundalini energy which directs our desire for awakening, you know, goes up the spine, so to speak, and, and so, traditionally, in the tantric traditions, and even the yoga traditions, we talk about these chakras as hosting or having certain properties where certain issues are stored, you know, in the psyche, and so when When that energy touches that, then all of those issues come really, you know, surfacing into our awareness. And so for instance, you know, if you have a long term meditation practice, and it becomes really easy to see, this is where the kinds of thoughts and the kinds of things that happen during meditation actually changes from day to day. And the focus of it actually changes over time, you know, whereas sometimes it’s, while it may have been about, oh, my gosh, I’m not going to get this technique, right. I don’t even know what it’s supposed to be doing and so on. Why am I even doing this and I’m fine. I, you know, I don’t need to do this, I have other things to do. So it’s all like, you know, in the, in the, in the lower chakras, so to speak. But then as we keep meditating, and that inner silence, becomes our you know, seeped in, then the issues become more and more and more subtle. It’s like, a, you know, we’re asking the more like, the more existential questions, it’s like, you know, if I’m not this, what is, what is, you know, my property, what am I, who am I, and so on. So, that means that the energy is going up. So, as the energy actually touches, each of these chakras then knew we are forced to confront you know, these issues. And so, you know, this is probably is something you have noticed over your years of teaching meditation is, somehow when we come to this path, we think everything is going to be solved, you know, all our problems are going to be solved. And it’s all going to be one smooth thing. And then we discover that my gosh, you know, this isn’t what I thought it was going to be, then we go through intense periods of purification and intense periods of upheaval, and that
Rick Archer: that’s not part of the initial sales pitch.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah. But but, you know, that’s, that’s really what happened and that, that those periods of upheaval are where the Kundalini is touching those chakras, opening them. So those those issues can be resolved.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah, there was a phrase that I probably heard Marashi repeated 1000 times. And that was something good is happening. You know, when people are going through these really intense things, especially on long meditation courses, six month courses and stuff, he would always say over and over something good is happening. Just stay with it.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes, exactly. Yeah. So that’s, that’s that whole, you know, I call it the washing machine effect when I my students. So yeah,
Rick Archer: you know what a Venn diagram is right. Yeah, we have like two circles and they overlap a little bit, but not entirely. So if we take, you know, Vedanta and tantra as two circles, to what extent do they overlap and diverge? If you look, think of them as a Venn diagram,
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: they overlap to a large extent, a very large extent. But there are some fundamental differences between, you know, Vedanta and Tantra. And, for instance, in Vedanta II, you know, even even if you look at the Bhagavad Gita, for instance, Brahman doesn’t do anything. You know, Brahman is not the doer. Brahman just is you know, and it’s like saying, awareness doesn’t do anything, which is really our experience as well, which is, there are no creative powers attributed to Brahman. So So In Vedanta, you know, we differentiate Brahman from Ishwara. So, Ishwara is the is the Creator, but Brahman is is pure, untouched, cannot do anything. Whereas in in tantra there is no such a differentiation. So, Shiva and Shakti together, are endowed with the creative potency. So, they have these five functions of creating and sustaining and destroying and concealing and revealing. So they are inherent qualities of you know, the divine. So, so that is like one fundamental difference between the two. And, and there are other fundamental differences. You know, a lot of people think that in Advaita, Vedanta, there is there remains the separation between the, you know, the Maya, which doesn’t exist, and that all that exists is Brahman. And that is, I think, only part of the story because I think that is a misunderstanding of Advaita Vedanta because even Shankara doesn’t say that Maya doesn’t exist. He says Maya doesn’t exist as we think it does. You know, the classic example is the rope and the snake, that it doesn’t exist the way we think it does. But we can get stuck between that and seeing that Brahman is the only reality and Maya simply doesn’t exist. And that is still a duality there. Whereas Tantra resolves that right from the beginning. Where is you know, Maya? It’s not it’s not that it doesn’t exist. Everything is real.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, you remember what Shankara said, he said, you know, the world is Maya. Brahman alone is real. Brahman is my Brahman is the world,
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: you know? Yes, exactly. But but
Rick Archer: it wasn’t the Akali worshiper or was, it was Ramakrishna, but he was some aspect of Mother Divine. He was a devotee.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Oh, yes, he was very much a mother devotee. And do you know, he was a worshipper of the Sri Yantra. And a lot of people attribute him to have written the sound the Rila hurry, which is the, you know, the, the absolute magnificent, very lush text describing the tantric worship and visualization of the Goddess. So some people say that’s not the same Shankara but some people think it’s the same chunk,
Rick Archer: okay? But it’s worth past mentioning that in passing, simply because I mean, all these great, non dual teachers that we revere, both ancient and modern, were devotees of something rather. Yeah, you know, every single one Papaji and Ramana and Nisargadatta Shankara. Going back then, there wasn’t a complete dismissal of all vestiges of duality as unworthy of our attention. There was a sort of effect chakra said that the intellect imagines duality for the sake of devotion. So, even if he acknowledges that duality exists, intellectually, at least, he considers it to have a purpose.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes, absolutely. And, you know, this is something I just discovered recently, which I didn’t know and you know, Shankar actually established all the Shankar maths, you know, in India, and I’ve been to a couple of them actually, but I didn’t know this that he actually the he established the tradition of daily worship of the Sri Yantra in the in the match, which is very secret, but it needs to go on four times a day, all the times, you know, all the time and and there is that worship aspect of it in an Advaitic center. So, that says so Sri
Rick Archer: Yantra, part of Sri Vidya it is, reason I ask is that, you know, Maharshi is a teacher, Swami. brahmananda Saraswati was a worshiper, a practitioner of Sri Vidya, and he ended up becoming Shankar Acharya of Jamaat, for the first time in ages. They hadn’t had an Shankaracharya for a couple 100 years or something, and they got him to do it. But anyway, I found that interesting. I didn’t know much about Sri Bindu would it be nice to? I mean, would it be interesting to tell people about that? Or should we save our time for talking more about your book and the MaHA videos at all?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Um, I think it’s worth mentioning just in passing, at least, because the ideas are also part of the tree that the tradition and that’s how I was introduced to them in in my stream with Dr. Bhaskar apotheca role. And so Srividya is actually Sri means auspicious Vidya is knowledge. So it is. Sri Vidya is auspicious knowledge. And it is the particular path to liberation, where liberation is manifests as the goddess Tripura Sundry, and she is the third of the MaHA videos in the book. And so she is the central Goddess, and she is the creator’s she’s Sustainer. And she is the destroyer of everything. So it is the, it is the path to her. And the path involves Mantra. And, you know, it’s a tantric path. So it also involves Yantra, and specific rituals and practices that lead us to Goddess through sundry. I just
Rick Archer: want to say again, as it was said in the beginning, that all this talk of worshipping goddesses and all shouldn’t be trivialized, or dismissed as some quaint you know, mythical indulgence or something like that. We’re really talking about a deeper mechanics here, which can be extremely potent and powerful and transformational. To those who engage in it properly.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes, absolutely. And the annual The thing about the young trust, I just want to say this, because my Tantra teachers, you know, particularly don’t really recommend worshipping of Yantra they think it’s, it’s, it’s not necessary because the youngsters begin to manifest in our own experience as our neural pathways change. So actually, these numbers are what, yes, because these young throws are external manifestations of these, you know, The neural pathways within the brain, and that happens automatically. And there is no real need to worship external Yantras or do any external rituals. It’s an entirely internal process where, you know, it changes our physiology. And with the change, these young arrows actually start manifesting
Rick Archer: interesting. So when we see these pictures of Yantras, they may have come from the actual cognitions of the people who originally painted them or drew them that people saw this thing and then drew it out, right?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes, absolutely. All of them. Interesting.
Rick Archer: I was gonna say something, I forget what it was, oh, yeah, I know what it was, you know, a lot of mantras have what are called a Bija mantras in them, which as I understand it, is somehow a name of a god or goddess or some aspect of the Divine Mother and all. I’ve been using a Mantra like that, in one form or another for a long time. But um, I still don’t know a lot about the esoteric significance and mechanics of Is there anything you can say that would educate me on that? And others?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, absolutely. So the the Bija, mantras, actually, you know, each of them actually maps to a particular cosmic force, so to speak. And then and of course, the cosmic force is given a form of a deity. And, and, and so we think that it maps to that particular DVD, but actually, the, the quality of the sound is such that, you know, it opens us because, you know, these Bija mantras are derived from Sanskrit and Sanskrit, you know, in certain traditions like the SRI Vidya sadhana, or Kashmir, Shaivism, there is this whole concept of Matrika Shakti, where each syllable in Sanskrit actually maps to a different point in consciousness a different way, you know, different aspects of consciousness. So the Bija, mantras are those, they actually map to certain points of those consciousness of our consciousness, and opens to us to the whole. So when, when you take combinations of these Bija, mantras in specific sequences, which is really what’s triggered there does, then you open in certain ways to that consciousness, you know, through different aspects of it. And then as a result of that, then the neural pathways change, and the youngsters start manifesting.
Rick Archer: So when you say open to different aspects, could it could you think of it as there are a number of different Bija mantras, and do all roads lead to Rome? Could they be thought of as like spokes on a wheel, which all lead to the hub, you take the one that works for you, or is appropriate for you, or something like that, and then you follow it back to its source, and it has an influence that’s conducive to doing that. There’s a whole discussion of the vibratory influence of these sounds, as opposed to any meaning they may or may not have, but you know, different sounds have different vibratory qualities, you scratch your fingernails on a blackboard that has one influenced, you know, beautiful flute, melody has another. And so these sounds are said to be conducive to the settling of the mind and body down to transcendence.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah. And so you know, that that is really the, the cosmic force called Tara, who’s the second month? mahavidya? Yeah, so yeah, so she’s so it’s a perfect segue into into understanding mantras, because she is the, the power behind all mantras, because she she represents the primordial vibration. And in physics, if we want to loosely map it, and I just want to emphasize the word loosely because may not really be so tight in terms of correlations. But you know, the, the, the, the background, microwave, what do you call the microwave?
Rick Archer: Visual radiation of the big company discovered at Bell Labs, right?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes, exactly. So that’s something I think of as you know, what Tara is which is the, the the primordial vibration, which is the mother of all other vibrations that become formed? Yes, the ohm or Niamh or, you know, that is that primordial vibration? So all Bija mantras actually lead to that. That primordial vibration. So they’re all modifications of that primordial vibration? So she is, you know, Tara is the mother of mantras in the in the mahavidya tradition?
Rick Archer: Yeah. Have you ever heard the notion that using a monitor with Oh minute tends to make you more of a recluse? I’ve never heard that. Do
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: that. I have heard that and I have experienced that. Have you? Yes, yes. And it is really true. And it is very performed. And it does. No, no, I was taught not to, because I was using it for a while. And, and it really makes you dissociate from stuff. And we ain’t, you know, kind of not. Yeah. But at different stages, I would say, different stages,
Rick Archer: because I heard that and for decades used a Mantra that didn’t have them. And then I got a Mantra for Mama about 1518 years ago, it did have that ever since then it hasn’t tended to make me more of a recluse. I wonder, Is that total BS?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: No, I think it just depends on the stage. Because I kind of did that early on. Or, you know, what your body says is that it’s more of an issue in the intermediate stages, and of meditation practice, and you know it as a beginner, it won’t affect you, as you’re more advanced, it won’t affect you. But in the intermediate stages, if you pick that on to, you know, take that on too early, then it may not be the right thing for you. I
Rick Archer: see. I think it also would depend on whether you’re just using all alone, oh, my mum, or whether using it in conjunction with the Bija, mantras and other aspects that mantras tend to have in them.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, exactly. And, and ohm as a, as an external chanting thing is not the problem. It’s that, you know, using it to transcend the mind that that is when it becomes an issue.
Rick Archer: Okay, good. Well, we’re on this topic. And this is, this is an interesting discussion. I mean, just like not your plain vanilla BatGap interview, we’re getting into all kinds of things that I haven’t really discussed much in other interviews. So I’m enjoying this. In the Torah, part of your book, you say sound is the subtlest of the senses. This is the principle behind Mantra sadhana. And if you think about that, you know, I’ve heard it said that thoughts are a subtler aspect of the sense of hearing. And you don’t really get that so much with other senses, although you might, you know, visualize dinner or get some taste of dinner in your in your mind’s eye. But we’re much more familiar with thoughts than we are with the subtler aspects of the other senses. And therefore, that would, it would make sense that using the sense of hearing, namely, thought in the form of a Mantra would be perhaps a more well, an easier road to traverse than some of the other senses.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes, absolutely. So you’ve heard of the word tanmatra, you know, then Mantra is, is that for subtle sense? Surfaces? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. The subtle, uh, you know, the subtle sense relating to a particular element
Rick Archer: comes in there someplace to doesn’t the injury is
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: injurious. Yes, exactly. So, the interiors are the external senses, and mantras are the, you know, the subtle sense so to speak, and and mediated by a particular element. And so, and so, there are the five elements. So earth, for instance, it is it carries the 10 Mantra of smell. So it is it is the, the grossest of those 10 metres, whereas sound is carried through by either or space. Akasha which is the the most subtle of the site? Yeah, so that’s why it’s the most subtle, you know, off the the five senses because it is carried through by that Akasha
Rick Archer: Okay, good. That’s interesting. Okay, so we’ve talked about anything more you want to say about Tara? Well, with each of these, my average visit, you mentioned a shadow and a light aspect of them and per shadow is self deception. Her light is truth.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes, yes. So, self deception, I think is is, is interesting, because, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s something that we kind of deal with, in one form or another, whether we are on the spiritual path or not, you know, ordinarily, of course, there’s you know, we can understand that self deception, but even as we progress along the spiritual path, you know, this self deception Can, can be so subtle that we miss it entirely. And, you know, it comes through this, you know, most commonly through justification and validation of our actions and our thoughts and our feelings, like on a constant basis, and still that goes on with that self referential, you know, kind of a loop where I do something and I feel really validated or validated internally or externally, or justified in one way or another and, and so Tara actually cuts through that and it’s, it’s very, it’s a very shocking thing when you do this thorough sadhana and you you know, kind of change This like comes in and cuts through all of that. And, you know, it’s like, she stands for absolute radical truth, which is always staying true to your own experience. And without any of that any of that self deception. So, so that’s how, you know, I kind of correlated that with the, the yamas and niyamas, of truth being one of them.
Rick Archer: That’s nice, always staying true to your own experience. I mean, I’ve been guilty of not doing that many times. And even in a metaphysical or philosophical sense, you know, just sort of pontificating about things, which I haven’t actually experienced, you know. So, yeah, I
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: think we all do that. Yeah, we do that. And, and I think now, especially in the day of the, in these days of the internet, and easy access to information, it’s probably a little more, you know, easy to do that, and to, to deceive ourselves into thinking one way or the other in terms of where we are.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And it’s interesting about self deception, too, because, I mean, there’s that phrase, the blinding darkness of ignorance. It’s in there, Jesus saying, Forgive them, Father, for they know, not what they do. It’s. And then there’s so many marvelous stories in the, in the Vedic literature about Maya, you know, like, like, who was it? Narayani or Narayen, asking his disciples to go off and get him a glass of water and he goes off and goes through this whole thing where he meets a pretty woman at the well and ends up marrying her and having kids and, and everything else. And then this big flood comes and he cries out to Narayana, and all sudden the flood disappears, and the rain is saying, well, where’s my water? You know?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: That is, that’s exactly the story. I was thinking of when we were talking about self deception. Amazing. That sage Narada?
Rick Archer: Narada? Yes, yes.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, and, you know, there are stories actually, of even Vishnu being self deluded, you know, or are his own stories of self deception, where, you know, he takes on the form of Mohini for a particular, you know, function, and then looks at himself in the mirror and thinks, oh, my gosh, I’m so beautiful. And Shiva needs to remind him, wait, you’re not even a woman? Forget Mohini? You know? Yeah. Well, on
Rick Archer: this note, there’s a fascinating thing in your book about how you say that, you say that, you know, if it weren’t for self deception, we wouldn’t really have the universe and it’s necessary. Sort of the Creator, however, you wanted to find the Creator hides himself from himself or herself from herself, in order to have a creation, and it makes the whole thing more interesting than it would otherwise be. Yes, I’m not sure which of them I have.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Shaktis. That’s chinampas. Chinamasa.
Rick Archer: Yeah, let’s talk about that a little bit. It’s a bit of a jump from where we’re skipping some. But I’ve often pondered that and didn’t think of it in terms of a Maha Vidya that there has to be this hiding quality. Yes, in order, which I think is perhaps the quality of tamas, or perhaps equality of genders, you know, genders means hiding, in order for there to be a creation.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, and you know how earlier we were talking about the five functions of the Divine, which is creating, sustaining, destroying, concealing, and revealing, right, so those are the five functions of the divine in the tantric traditions. And so Chinna muster represents both the concealing and revealing power of the Divine. And, you know, she’s the fiercest of the MaHA videos, you know, more fierce than Kali, because she’s the one that cuts her own head off. And, you know, and her own head is feeding from the, you know, the blood in her severed neck. So, that that beheading, that self beheading is, is, you know, very clear to see how the divine basically cuts itself off from its creation. So that, you know, there is the sense of separation, and the whole drama goes on. It’s like, you know, this very common metaphor we use and the spiritual path, which is that of a play, and actors in a play. And, you know, you’ve heard of these actors who actually live in character, because, you know, that’s when their acting is so beautiful. And they say that
Rick Archer: Leonardo DiCaprio stays in character in between takes, because he doesn’t want to have to move in and out of it. You just, you know,
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: yes, yes. And, you know, who was the actor who played Lincoln? One of my favorites, they lose? Yes, yes. He’s magnificent. And, you know, it’s, you know, apparently he does that to where he stays in character the entire time because he becomes the character And that’s what makes his acting so powerful. And so he forgets his identity. And he is the character. And so it’s, it’s, that’s exactly like the analogy that we could use for the divine where it is if it forgets its identity so that the play can be beautiful and engaging. And so that is the concealing power of Chinamasa. And, and then of course, on the spiritual path, she is also the great Revealer because, you know, when the Kundalini goes up, then it’s like a second beheading, but the beheading of the Isao, the identity, or the engagement or the tight identification with the eye self. And so that’s the second beheading, where you remember that oh, wait, I’m not Daniel Day, Lewis. I am. I’m so and so. Or I’m Lincoln, I’m Daniel Day Lewis, or, you know, I’m not this character. So, yeah, I just love tenemos sites is such a beautiful, beautiful, you know, metaphor for this whole process. It’s
Rick Archer: fascinating. And it’s like, it’s humbling. I mean, nobody is above it, as we were just saying, even Vishnu got deluded, and so on. So if you think that you’re incapable of being deluded, or being overshadowed, or kind of getting lost, you might have a lesson to learn that won’t necessarily be enjoyable.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, and, you know, this is why I love those, you know, the Purana. So much, yeah. Because really teach us, you know, they are very humbling, because there are there are stories where Shiva himself gets diluted, and, you know, our Devi, for instance, you know, colleague goes on this rampage in one story, where nobody can stop her. And absolutely, nobody can stop her. So Shiva comes and lies down under her. And that’s the first time she wakes up. She’s like, Oh, this is my beloved. And, and, you know, wakes up. And then there was another story where nobody can stop her again. And she goes on this rampage. And Shiva takes the form of a baby. And so suddenly, she loses that rage and becomes this compassionate mother to this child. So it’s, it’s, it’s exactly as you say that, you know, none of us is above that.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Several other stories come come to mind right now about chakra getting diluted, and then snapping out of it, but don’t want to take the time to tell him but
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: yes, with the Chandela Yeah, the
Rick Archer: one. And that was the one where he kind of occupied the body of a king who had died in order to have kind of experiences that only a king could have. And then he kind of got so caught up in the role that he forgot that he was Shandra. And his disciples went running there and started chanting one of his poems or something to remind him of who he was. Yeah. Interesting. Here’s something in the Chinamasa section of your book that jumped out at me, that’s a little bit of a an abrupt segue, but related, that dharma keeps us on the path of appropriate cultivation of sexual energy, virtue and wisdom. If we confuse our attachments and aversions for our dharma, our creative and procreative energies are used up and we remain attached to the high self. So I like that. Yeah.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, yeah. So, you know, one thing that that is, is foreign to a lot of people who, who are not very familiar with these paths is this issue of finding your bliss, you know, that’s, that’s that find your bliss is a cliche. Yeah, it’s a cliche. You know, people think find your bliss means
Rick Archer: do what you want, which is do what Joseph Campbell meant when he said that,
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: exactly, exactly, but we kind of confused our likes and dislikes for what we must be doing, you know, what are the termites, and, and so, we get so caught up in that, that, you know, this the, the, this energy, the Kundalini energy that we were talking about, which is this burning desire for waking up is active. That doesn’t simply happen because the prana is getting diffused into all these, you know, other channels, you know, off our likes and dislikes and this where our senses are constantly wrote roaming around, where that energy is used up. And so, and it so happens that this Kundalini energy is the primordial sexual energy as well and, and if we can’t cultivate that, to, you know, go up in terms of the achieving that beheading that second beheading on that Chinamasa is representing so, you know, the two attendants that stand by her are, you know, like the the two others. So, you know, in the traditional yoga tantric traditions there are there is the Sushumna, the central Nadi that goes along the spine and then the Edo and Pingala, which are the two side channels where the energy goes and they kind of loop around like the you know symbol of medicine. And so, what happens is when we are not aligned with Dharma and we are following the bliss, in in our misinformed way of following the bliss, which we think is associated with our likes and dislikes and chasing our senses, then the energy gets diffuse and goes is directed more through the EDA and Pingala and rather than the Sushumna and, and so, the EDA and Pingala are opposites, you know, they are one is the hot channel one is the cold channel, one is the sympathetic corresponds to the sympathetic system one to the parasympathetic, so, like the our likes and dislikes, you know, they are the channels of duality. So, they continue to switch between, you know, joy and pain, and you know, all the dualities that we get affected by and so, are that energy that that very powerful sexual energy, which is you know, part of this Kundalini energy gets diffused, in that, and, and so, you know, the ashram a system of the, you know, of the ancient times, was developed actually for appropriate cultivation of this energy, so, that it could be directed more into the central channel, so that we could, you know, be liberated and in our lifetime, so, and the, in the ashrama system, the Dharma is actually very easy to follow if we follow the ashrama system. And that, that means, you know, as a child, your your duty is to study, you know, as long as you’re a student, your primary Dharma is to focus on whatever learning that is taking place, and only then, are you capable of going into this householder life and as a householder, then, you know, the energy is explored in appropriate ways. And then, you know, with retirement, then that energy has, if it has been explored, and if it has been used appropriately, then the, the thinking is that it would have subsided by then, and could be used by them, the energy has gone up to the higher chakras, where the thinking has changed, and our worries are more in the metaphysical realm. And, and then the sannyasa, where the energy goes up even further, and then we are in that mode of self knowledge and self realization.
Rick Archer: And what about those who become monks and don’t go through these four stages? How do they deal with it?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, so, you know, in the ashram, a system of the old, very few people actually, were even encouraged to become monks. And only if they had that, that samskaara of being a monk where they had already, you know, they had signs of already having that work throughout stuff. Because, you know, if being a monk is something that, uh, you know, we develop, you know, like Arjuna, in the Bhagavad Gita, where he says in the first chapter, I don’t want this war, I just want to be a monk. And Krishna says no, nothing doing that’s not your dharma. Right? Yeah, that’s not your dharma. Because we, if we are trying to be renunciate, because we’re trying to escape life, then that doesn’t really work. Because then that energy is still there, and it can’t be faked it there is nowhere for it to go. And you see that in a lot of institutions, you know, where, you know, celibacy is forced and at church, I mean, yes. Yeah. And so anything that’s forced like that has to be expressed and it becomes expressed in a dharmic way. Yeah, exactly.
Rick Archer: Interesting. Gita says, you know, because when can perform at one’s own Dharma, the lesser and merit is better than the dharma of another? Yes. So that death in one’s own dharma?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah. Is it? Yes. And so along the, along this line of dharma is is the issue of our Gunas you know, so what is it what is my dharma as opposed to yours, you know, is is is really determined by our combination of, of gunas. And so in the Bhagavad Gita, for instance, you know, Krishna talks about these four categorizations. of, of, of society of occupation, or vocation, we’re based on
Rick Archer: a subject because you’re touching upon the caste system here, which is, you know,
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: oh yeah, the caste system is complete, you know? Yeah, complete distortion of really what it’s supposed to be. Because our Gunas change. And so our vocations may change with that, as
Rick Archer: a street sweeper to a doctor theoretically. Or you
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: can be, you can still be a street sweeper, but you know, you’re gonna have changed where you are no longer performing the job for whatever the original intention was. So, originally, and as our goodness change, we actually change and become more, you know, evolved as as we progress along the path. So, you know, I, I’m really not, you know, most Hindus will tell you that the caste system is a complete distortion, and, and not at all really what it was supposed to be.
Rick Archer: I’m sure, like many things. Yeah. Like pretty much every religious tradition in the world, which is probably a far cry from what its founder had intended.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes, exactly. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Okay, so we’re skipping over some of these. So we’ve touched upon Tara, I think we’ve touched a little bit of UNDRIP, Tripura, Sunder it Sundry, and there’s Bhuvaneshwari and Tripura bribery, we won’t have time to spend a lot of time on all of them. But um, and then there’s this whole section towards the end of your book, where he talks about elements of the path of the Mojave is devotion, single point in this austerity surrender experience, language, bliss. So that was like a 32nd overview of stuff we haven’t talked about in your book, but and then there’s a beautiful thing about opening further through ethics and virtues Yamas, and niyamas, and self after self after Self Realization. So we could go on another two hours talking about all that stuff. But um, everything I just rambled out, what catches your attention that you’d like us to discuss in our remaining time,
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: perhaps about the issue of ethics? And I think that’s, and I know, you, you did this whole panel at Sand last year, it was
Rick Archer: my talk. Yes. In my own talk, and next year, I think we’re going to have a panel. Yeah.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s a very important subject. Because I think there is a lot of, you know, a lot of misunderstanding that somehow be becoming awakened, will instill you with all the ethics. And that it’s, it’s just going to happen magically, even if you spontaneously even if you haven’t really cultivated that. And some of it happens spontaneously, because you you know, you when you come from a sense of wholeness, but a lot of it doesn’t. And I think add, you know, I think that’s a good, good thing to discuss.
Rick Archer: Yeah, let’s do. Okay. I think it’s important. And it was very much in the air last year at Sand after I gave my talk, a bunch of people teach other teachers came to me and said, you know, that we were touching on that in our talks, let’s all sit down and discuss this, you know, some there needs to be some kind of higher standard in the spiritual community, because there’s just been too much misbehavior and people. People are sick of it. Yes, getting sick. Oh, but Irene says people are getting sick of me harping on it, too. So let’s talk about cuz I’m always griping about teachers behaving badly. And we’re still gonna talk about a little bit.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, I think, you know, I think what I really love, Greg, Greg’s book after awareness, because he touches a lot on that
Rick Archer: chapter. He sent it to me in preparation for my talk, and we were chatting back and forth a little bit about it.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah. And, and I think that’s very, I think it is as touchy as it may be. I think it is a, a very important thing to, to really talk about, especially also in the context of Tantra. Because, you know, I think Tantra is misunderstood, as you know, as it has this path that is about licentiousness. That you can everything goes and whatever. Yeah. Yeah. But but that is not the case, actually. And I go into that in a little bit in detail in the last mahavidya, the the chapter on Camelot, mica on who really is qualified to explore with some of the forbidden, you know, practices and who isn’t and why not, you know, and, and so, and in the name of Tantra, for instance, there are five substances, forbidden substances or practices that people really quote about or talk about in Tantra, which is a consumption of alcohol or meat and fish and you know what parched grain and sexual practices. And so, so you can see how, you know, if a text tells you that you can practice with that, then we can know in our ordinary way of thinking or thinking, hey, wait, you know where all the other paths are saying, don’t do that, and this is telling you do it, I’m just going to go all out and do that. But the texts actually, like the Mahayana. Tantra, for instance, goes into detail about who is the qualified seeker who can do that, and one who is already established in awareness and is working on what you might call the post Enlightenment sadhana, where, you know, you’re working to remain stable in that awareness while exploring those substances. And so, but in the name of Tantra, we there is a lot of letting go of ethics, you know, where we’re teachers may be behaving inappropriately with students, and teaching them that that is okay to do that, as an alibi, using it as a as a kind of a crutch to fulfill their own, you know, needs or their own, you know, wherever that place that they feel, need to feel fulfilled from. So I think that’s, in particularly in the tantric paths, this cultivation of the ethics is really, really important and developing that discrimination, you know, that, which is the foundation of Advaita Vedanta, you know, the two wings of Jnana are discrimination, and non attachment, Viveka and Vairagya. And both are necessary in order to explore further with any of those substances, but then very important for the teacher to, you know, to develop those ethics. Yeah,
Rick Archer: some people say that, you know, awakening and unethical behavior are have nothing to do with one another, you can be an enlightened scoundrel, and you can’t judge a person’s level of consciousness by their external behavior. And other people hold a model that, you know, higher levels of consciousness or Enlightenment really involves cultivation, not only of sort of inner awareness of pure consciousness, but a complete housecleaning of all of one’s human tendency, so that they become pure, and one’s Vasanas. So that, you know, you really do become saintly, yes. And you hear people saying, you know, certainly, this has nothing to do with Enlightenment, and you shouldn’t judge it by, by our behavior. So what’s your perspective on that conundrum?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Well, you know, I think there are two aspects to this. One is that, you know, the anything that is forced externally, including ethics becomes a problem. Right. And, and so, I think that’s where a lot of the rebellion comes from. And so like, don’t tell me what to do. And because it’s forced upon us, but but, you know, what I’m suggesting in this book, and in my own sadhana, is that the cultivation of ethics is particularly the yamas and niyamas, when we look at them from a more non dual aspect, and, you know, look at them from an subtler and subtler perspectives, then those actually change. And so you know, it’s like moving from the shadow to the light, you know, moving from the, from the, those tendencies into those where we can live those ethics in without really talking about them without really being enforced, and those just happen, but if we pay attention to those particular shadows, and and, you know, as I was saying earlier, that is actually the difference between Tantra and other paths, where refinement of the body mind to be in accordance with our highest understanding is really part of the path.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I have come to the conclusion just from my own life experience over the past 50 years, and from my BatGap experience over the past eight years, that everybody has a work in progress. Yeah, that’s such a, it’s such a comfortable conclusion to reach. Because if you look at this or that teacher and think, Well, this guy really knows where it’s at, you know, he’s really got it all figured out. And then he does he or she does something that seems wrong. You you can get you into trouble. Firstly, you can become disillusioned. Or you might think, Well, who am I ignorant schmo to judge this enlightened person. So therefore, I must excuse and allow this kind of wrong behavior, that kind of thing. But if you if you kind of have the attitude, everybody’s been working in progress, you think Alright, well, this guy has some work to do in this particular area. He may have great gifts and radiate wonderful Shakti and so on and so forth. But now That doesn’t mean that on all counts, there has been complete development to the highest degree possible.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, I love that. And that’s, that’s, that’s how I feel, too is that we’re all works in progress. And, and I think that touches upon this issue of the guru, you know the role of the Guru because we get disillusioned when we are attached to the teacher rather than the teaching. Yeah, you know, and so it is, the more we get, you know, attached to the finger pointing to the moon, then the more chances there are of being in forming opinions one way or the other about that person. Whereas, you know, if our sights are always on the moon, then, you know, then we realize that everything else is really not that important, you know, what, what somebody does, or what somebody doesn’t do. And as long as we are, you know, our site is on the highest always,
Rick Archer: yeah. It’s like, if, if one goes to study chemistry, for instance, you know, in college, one’s orientation, oh, my chemistry teacher is so wonderful, you know, it’s like, I’m interested in chemistry, and this guy knows about it, and he’s teaching it and I appreciate and respect him for doing that. But the focus is on the chemistry, you know, yeah. But in spirituality, part of the complication is that surrender to the Guru is has often been, you know, requirement or advocated as essential to really learning what the Guru has to teach in a way that you wouldn’t expect from a chemistry teacher, you know, he wouldn’t say surrender to me, and I will give you all my knowledge, I’ll cooperate and do the tests to pay attention in the lectures. So that almost in a way, it sets up the possibility of difficulty if it’s in the wrong hands, you know, I mean, in the right hands, I imagine it can be a beautiful thing in the wrong hands, it can be abused.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, absolutely. And, and you know, that actually, my friend, my friend, and I were talking about this just yesterday with this whole issue of the inner guru. And I wrote about that in the book. And we are always talking Vedanta, for instance, that your, your guru is going to always be a manifestation of where you are at any given stage. And, and so your outer Guru is always a reflection of a really what your heart’s desire is, right? And on the spiritual path. And, and the, and I guess, for me, you know, the, I’m really not the kind that that subscribes to this whole surrender to the guru at all costs kind of thing. But But I understand the teaching, surrender to the teaching, but no, may not. That may not necessarily be the teacher. And and so my gurus, and my teachers have always been ones who have kept themselves out of it and have always pointed to the moon and said, focus on that knock me. Yeah. And so that’s worked out. Well, for me.
Rick Archer: It also depends on how we define surrender. If it’s some kind of slavish, mindless, you know, will this kind of subservience? Yeah, where you put aside your own good judgment. I mean, there’s that great quote from the Buddha. He says, you know, don’t believe anything anybody says and even if I say it, if it doesn’t, can, you know, can jibe with your own understanding and common sense and so on. So, so, you know, we have to define surrender for making these kinds of comments.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, absolutely. And, and, you know, this is the thing, whether it is with Vedanta or with or with Tantra, you know, the fundamental thing that is emphasized is, you know, you have to have a cultivate your own sermon sense, discern that, and that is like the most important thing because that is your guiding light. And the the surrender should be to that and you don’t even Shankar says, in the Viveka today, money, what really devotion is who the devotion should be to, and it should be to the highest, you know, which is the self with the capital S. So, that is the, the highest kind of devotion. And, you know, the guru is just a, the teacher is just the external person driving you to that, but your sights are always on the south. So, discernment and discrimination. You know, Viveka is the most important
Rick Archer: Yeah, Chris. Yeah, discrimination. Yeah. Yeah. So, maybe a concluding point on this. One is that any teacher worth his salt is going to do everything he can to help you cultivate discernment and discrimination. He’s not going to violate your tendency to be discerning or discriminating, you know, to say, you know, do as I say, not as I do, or any kind of nonsense like that it’s going to help you Question he’s gonna allow questioning, yes. And not set himself up as infallible, or beyond reproach or anything like that, but sort of be humble and open.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And, you know, it’s like, it’s like I tell my children is, you know, and I and, and this is something that as a mother of two daughters, and and telling them, you know, you need to trust your own self first. And, and, and I also teach them for instance, you know, you don’t have any responsibility for making me happy, or you know, that’s not your job making me happy is my job, for instance. However, however, that doesn’t mean that we, we, that you can do whatever you want, because you still need to live in harmony. Right? Right, you need to still learn to live in harmony. And so it is with awakening and living in the world. You know, if you’re, you’re awakened on a mountaintop, who cares? You know, you can behave as you want. But if you’re living in society, then we still need to be able to live in harmony. And and I think that’s where these ethical issues come in.
Rick Archer: Yeah. When we were talking earlier about, you know, Dharma and the good versus, versus the pleasant and so on. I just wanted to throw in the story of Nachi cases, which I’m sure you’re familiar with, where it seems to be the conclusion of that story was he he was refused all these things that were just merely pleasurable because he wanted the truth. Which is not not to say that we should all abstain from any form of pleasure, but it’s a matter of priorities, it seems to me, yes. If we hold adherence to truth and dharma as our highest priority, then I’ll everything else kind of falls into place and gets properly ordered.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah. And that that is really, the whole essence of Chinamasa, you know, and saying, you know, let’s stick to that first and then you know, the other things will fall into place,
Rick Archer: Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all should be added on to the Yes. A question came in from Mark Peters in Santa Clara. Mark is a regular viewer of the live interviews and almost always asked the question, he said, Can you speak about the Divine Feminine ‘s role in establishing a sustainable relationship with the planet, or global warming, deforestation, rampant consumerism, etc, largely symptomatic of the disconnected hyper mentation that characterizes the masculine?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, so that’s a great question. And thank you for bringing that up. Because I just want to want to talk a little bit about that, because it’s very important. And when we when we make this dichotomous division between the masculine and the feminine, we somehow remember that that too, that division two is in our minds, because the divine has no gender the divine isn’t dichotomous and Shiva and Shakti are always one. And when if we talk about Shiva as the masculine force, and we say Shiva is attribute less, and everything in creation is Shakti. So the, the issue of you know, the, the negative aspects, the, you know, the destructive aspects are also Shakti. But that’s her shadow side. And so, the role of the divine feminine is that is not that it’s a masculine side that that needs to be addressed. It is the shadow side, a side of Shakti that needs to be addressed, because all of that is also Shakti. And so. So it’s, it doesn’t matter whether we are men or women, you know, all these shadow aspects are still Shakti, whether we are male or female. And so, the the aspect of the Divine Feminine coming into the, you know, the role of the divine feminine in terms of cultivating a better world is one of cultivating the light of Shakti which is a, you know, all the different collaborative kinds of qualities and the beauty of the divine feminine, or the beauty of the feminine in general is that it is it doesn’t, it’s not about the individual. And and so this, this obsessive, you know, attachment to the individual, for instance, when I first came to the US, I would hear people say, think about number one, you have to think about number one, and it didn’t really make sense to me. I’m like, What is number one? I didn’t even know what that was, but it’s a very highly individual kind of thing. You know, everybody’s looking out for themselves. And that is we think that’s the masculine side that left brained hyper dominant, go getting efforting kind of thing. We We assign that to be a masculine quality. But in reality, it’s the shadow of Shakti. So what we need to develop is the light of Shakti and and so then the individual is part of the whole, as Kali shows us in her iconography, where everything is interconnected. And so when we, the more we aligned with that, we understand that there is nothing that a person in Nairobi is doing that is not going to affect me, you know, them taking a sip of coffee is going to affect me, in imperceptible ways. So we are all connected in this web, and not just the Earth, the whole of creation. And, and so when we, the more we step into her light, the more we kind of step away from that aggressiveness and that, you know, the violent aspect, which is, as we talked about the shadow of Kali.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s good. Yeah, it seems like, the more unified we become, the more we appreciate the oneness or the wholeness of life, the less we could stand to defile the environment or, you know, harm other people in any way whatsoever, because we’re really defining ourselves or it’s yes, you know, that the Amazon is our lungs, and the rivers are our blood. You know, we’re kind of spoiling our own nest by.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And, and, you know, in industry with the tradition, the, you know, we think of the Goddess, where ever, the creation is her body, exactly, as you said, you know, the Amazon is, is our lungs. So that’s exactly how we visualize the Devi, which is, it’s hard to visualize, you know, this, this, all of this is her body. And so, that’s why this devotion is so important, because it’s like, you know, when you’re devoted to something, you are less likely to defy that. It’s like I’m so devoted, as a mother to my children, is that their highest good is always, you know, my, my goal,
Rick Archer: and you don’t have to think about that it’s instinctual. And yeah, you know, and what we were just saying becomes instinctual to, you know, the sort of appreciation of the was it Basu, Dave coutume? Become? I think it said the world that’s my family. Yeah. Yeah, it’s not just a, you know, a nice little concept that becomes your, your kind of intuitive way of being this Yeah, way of functioning, you know?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes, exactly. And, and that is, the real, you know, the real essence of the power of the Goddess is, is that developing, that, that softness, and, you know, that’s more of that parasympathetic activity, and that surrender, and that and that being okay. And we’re kind of conditioned to work through effort, and, you know, it’s like, go, go, go get what I want, at the cost. So just surrendering all of that, and softness and sweetness is, is her light.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And when you think about it, you know, if we, if we equate goddess, the goddess with nature itself, the nature is a huge, powerful, invincible force, which is conducting nature in the biggest sense conducting the whole universe. In its minut detail, without an effort. Yes. And so yeah, the word surrender if we can surrender to or align ourselves or tune ourselves to that intelligence of nature, which I believe is embodied by all these mob images, that yes, then they then Brahmin becomes a charioteer, then they become the driving force of our life, and we can just sort of relax in the chariot and enjoy the ride.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, and and the, you know, the the ironic thing is, it’s already always the case it is right. They are driving it anyway. It’s just we think we have control
Rick Archer: and keep interfering with their attempts to drive.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Exactly.
Rick Archer: Good. Okay. Well, I think we’re about done. Although we never we could be never done. And as I was reading your book, I was thinking, you know, this is one of those books where I wish we could kind of take a month and read each paragraph and then discuss it and read another one and then discuss it, you know, but that’s not really quite the purpose of an interview. So it’s sort of a taste or a sampling. So I’ve really enjoyed talking with you. And I’m sure we’ll be connecting again. Are you going to sand in the fall?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: I hope so.
Rick Archer: Good. I’ll be there. Yeah. And you mentioned might even come to Fairfield at some point. So that’d be lovely. If you come to Fairfield, yeah.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes. I’d love to. I’d love to come. Yeah.
Rick Archer: So I encourage people to check out this book. I really learned a lot from it and really enjoyed it. I’ll have a link to it on Kavita has page on batgap.com and And then your new book is more about health. You said?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Well, actually, it’s it’s about it’s called the heart of wellness. And it’s about the heart here refers to awareness, the heart, the great thing,
Rick Archer: the essential, the most important component and wellness.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Wellness. Yes. And and how do you bring medicine and spirituality together? And how do we define what happens to our relationship with health and with disease, when you enter the heart? And and so that’s, that’s really what that book is about.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And I would say, even if you end up getting a disease like Ramona, for instance, people say, Oh, Ramona, you’re suffering and she’s not suffering, you know, is this is touching me?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yes, exactly. So, you know, that’s what I, that’s really the crux of that is suffering is optional. Because, you know, in traditional medicine, we equate disease with suffering. And, and, you know, as you talk about, you know, papers and stuff, and we, we look at academic papers, where they say, you know, we have decreased disease and suffering. And I would beg to differ, differ and say, they’ve decreased disease, but not necessarily suffering. So, two different things. And yeah, so that’s, that’s really delving more into, you know, how do we get there, you know, enter the heart of wellness, and through principles of Ayurveda, and yoga and Vedanta. So that’s what that is good.
Rick Archer: All right. Well, thank you so much. Really enjoyed speaking with you. And we will do it again sometime. Thank you. Yeah. So just to make some general concluding remarks, I’ve been speaking with Kavita tonight and MD, I’ll be linking to her website from her page on batgap.com. And you can go there and see what she’s up to get in touch probably you do some kinds of Do you do anything remotely with people aside from your local practices of physician? Do you do spiritual songs or consultations over Skype? Or do you offer retreats or any of that kind of stuff?
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, I do, actually. And I have a course coming up on Shakti rising, where we will be exploring all the Mojave there’s it’s a 12 week, it’s all online. And it’s coming up as starts in February. And it’s a 12 week course and and then later this year, I’ll be doing a course on the, the heart of wellness. And then I have some mini courses. Just before number three, you know, we’ll do the whole number three course and then retreats, and intensives and workshops. And later this year. You know, I’m planning a Shakti young Yatra, actually going to India to specific Shakti mediums, and really practicing with the deities at those places. So
Rick Archer: this image just came to me because you do all these things. Here you are this medical doctor and then you’re doing all these courses and you have your own spiritual practice and this and that I kind of pictured you as one of these deities with four or six arms, you know, doing all this stuff at once. And I imagine you got the teenage daughters and the whole writing books all the time. Yeah.
Kavitha Chinnaiyan: Yeah, it’s, it’s you know, it’s it’s shocking, doing that creative flow.
Rick Archer: Alrighty, well, thanks. And those listening or watching, you’re probably familiar, you probably watched my interviews before, but if you haven’t, go to batgap.com. And if you want to sign up to be notified of new ones, just click on the little email notification link. Sign up for the audio podcast if you’d like to listen to things while you’re commuting and stuff. There you can also subscribe to the YouTube channel. That’s always helpful. The more subscribers I have, the more seriously YouTube takes me and helps me. So do that if you haven’t, and we’ll see you next week. Thanks, Kavita. Thank you