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The Odes of Solomon: 6

Virgin OransA continuation of the Commentary on the Odes of Solomon for Awakening.

Many of the Odes of Solomon are expressions of the illumined soul, as is this sixth ode. It is also an exposition of how the deifying power of God, the Holy Spirit embodied in–and as–the Divine Word, accomplishes its work in the individual.

As the wind moves over the harp, and the strings speak, so speaks in my members the Spirit of the Lord, and I speak by his love.
For it destroys whatever is foreign, and everything that is bitter.
For thus it was from the beginning, and will be to the end.
That nothing should be contrary, and nothing should rise up against him.
The Lord has multiplied the knowledge of himself, and is zealous that these things should be known which by his grace have been given to us.
And the Praise of his Name he gave us, our spirits praise his Holy Spirit.
And there went forth a stream and became a river great and broad, for it flooded and broke up everything and it shattered and brought it to the Temple.
And the restraints of men were not able to restrain it, nor the arts of those whose business it is to restrain waters.
For it spread over the face of the whole earth, and filled everything.
Then all the thirsty upon the earth drank, and thirst was relieved and quenched.
For from the Most High the drink was given.
Blessed then are the ministers of that drink, who are entrusted with that water of his.
They have refreshed the parched lips, and have aroused the paralyzed will.
And souls that were near departing, they have held back from death.
And the limbs which had fallen, they straightened and set up.
They gave strength for their coming, and light to their eyes.
For everyone knew them in the Lord, and by the waters they lived an eternal life. Alleluia.

As the wind moves over the harp, and the strings speak, so speaks in my members the Spirit of the Lord, and I speak by his love.

Just as “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2) in the beginning of creation, so the Holy Spirit, the Holy Breath, moves upon the inner constitution of the progressing individual and “speaks” within him. From that proceeds inner development (evolution), as well as intuitive illumination of his intellect to guide him in the ways of continual unfoldment of his spiritual potential. Eventually he in his turn “speaks” by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Love of God.

This has the implication that what has been automatic in the individual because it is the action of the Holy Spirit alone becomes in time the “doing” of the individual himself. The flame is passed from the Holy Spirit to the aspirant, so that what was heretofore subliminal becomes a matter of full consciousness and intention so that he is competent to evolve himself and “work the works of God” (John 6:28).

“So speaks in my members the Spirit of the Lord” also implies that the body evolves along with the consciousness of the individual. This is why touching the body of a saint can awaken the inner consciousness and heal the outer body as well as the heart and mind. The bones of Elisha raised the dead (II Kings 13:21), the touch of Jesus’ clothing healed the sick (Matthew 14:35,36; 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34), as did the shadow of Saint Peter (Acts 5:15) and cloths touched to the body of Saint Paul. (Acts 19:11-12).

In relation to this I wrote in the fourth chapter of Soham Yoga:

There are many Sanskrit words with which the yogi must become conversant. Two are Samskara and Vasana. Samskaras are impressions in the mind, either conscious or subconscious, produced by previous action or experience in this or previous lives. They are propensities of the mental residue of impressions–subliminal activators, prenatal tendencies. A Vasana is a bundle or aggregate of similar samskaras manifesting as subtle desire. It is a tendency created in a person by the doing of an action or by enjoyment which induces the person to repeat the action or to seek a repetition of the enjoyment. A Vasana is a subtle impression in the mind capable of developing itself into action, and is the cause of birth and experience in general–the impression of actions that remains unconsciously in the mind.

One of the most renowned yogis of the twentieth century was Swami (“Papa”) Ramdas of Anandashram (Kanhangad, Kerala). In Gospel of Ramdas he says the following regarding the body, yoga and vasanas.

“Vasanas may be driven out of the mind. But they persist in the body. One whose mind is free from vasanas is said to have manosiddhi; one whose body is free from vasanas is said to have kayasiddhi. One who has kayasiddhi is said to have completely eradicated all his vasanas both from his mind and body. That is perfection in yoga. Some jnanis stop at eradicating the vasanas from the mind and do not care about their ejection from the body. But there are some siddhas who have perfected the body also. By so doing, they say they are divinizing the body. They make the light of the atman permeate the body to such an extent that every particle of the body is made holy and shines with the divine radiance” (p. 374).

“Jnanis stop with the experience of nirvikalpa samadhi and they consider the body and all the universe as illusion or non-existent. Even after the experience of nirvikalpa samadhi, though the mind is free from vasanas, the body is not. Of course, jnanis do not care about it as the body and everything connected with it is unreal. But the yogis are not satisfied with this realization. Thy make the body also pure and illumined. That is Purna [Full, Complete] Yoga. Then every particle of his body is radiant with spiritual splendor. Now the yogi has attained perfection of the body also, the grandest spiritual experience” (pp. 595, 596).

For it destroys whatever is foreign, and everything that is bitter.

The Holy Spirit is healing and purifying, “for it destroys whatever is foreign, and everything that is bitter.” Anything that is alien to our eternal nature, such as ignorance, sin and suffering (both of which are but the results of ignorance) are annihilated by the Spirit consciousness.

For thus it was from the beginning, and will be to the end.

All that is not eternal is dispelled by the action of the Holy Spirit, by the Holy Life within us. It does this so:

That nothing should be contrary, and nothing should rise up against him.

That which opposes good cannot rise up against God or against us except in our will, for we are inseparable from God. All that opposes our ascent to Divine Consciousness either within or without is melted away in the “fire” of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord has multiplied the knowledge of himself, and is zealous that these things should be known which by his grace have been given to us.

Jesus habitually referred to the Holy Spirit as “the Spirit of Truth” (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13). This is because the Holy Spirit reveals that which is true and makes all that She touches “true” (real). She, “the spirit of wisdom and revelation” (Ephesians 1:17), reveals God and makes gods of those who receive that revelation. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit “…is zealous that these things should be known which by his grace have been given to us.” That is, the Holy Spirit both shows us what things are channels of deifying power, of divine grace, and teaches us the ways of inner life and development by which we may increase our treasure of spiritual evolution. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are sons of God” (Romans 8:14). “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18).

And the Praise of his Name he gave us, our spirits praise his Holy Spirit.

We cannot praise that which we do not know, nor can we praise something that is (or does) nothing praiseworthy. But the Divine Name is not unknown to the established seeker for It works the Divine Work within us. This sentence also indicates that the Name of God and the Holy Spirit are the same, as Jesus knew and taught from his life in India. (See Soham Yoga.) Our spirits praise the Divine Name because it is freeing us, as the next verse describes.

And there went forth a stream and became a river great and broad, for it flooded and broke up everything and it shattered and brought it to the Temple.

This is also spoken of in the Bible: “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High” (Psalms 46:4). “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Revelation 22:1). What a magnificent symbology of the workings of the Holy Spirit-Word.

At first the movings of the Holy Spirit in the form of the Word/Divine Name are a stream, but if it is allowed to continue unimpeded and even helped along by our application of spiritual discipline it soon becomes a river both strong and wide in its effects. Finally, it floods and permeates all of us, loosens its bonds, and brings us into the Temple of Divine Consciousness, into the depths of Divinity Itself.

And the restraints of men were not able to restrain it, nor the arts of those whose business it is to restrain waters. For it spread over the face of the whole earth, and filled everything.

In the beginning stages of our spiritual life it is not sure just how things will go, for within us indeed are “those whose business it is to restrain [the] waters” of the Holy Spirit’s working, particularly the workings of Shabda Brahman, the Divine Sound. But once that Force advances and grows, then the outcome is inevitable: we shall be brought into the Temple.

“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God” (Revelation 3:12), which he justly praises, for It has “filled everything” “that God may be all in all” (I Corinthians 15:28).

Then all the thirsty upon the earth drank, and thirst was relieved and quenched.

Total fulfillment. And no surprise:

For from the Most High the drink was given.

And that drink was God himself. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).

In India some people have a most beautiful and meaningful family name: Namacharya–Teacher of the Name. This ode glorifies those who know and teach the meaning and power of the Divine Name, for through that Holy Name:

Blessed then are the ministers of that drink, who are entrusted with that water of his. They have refreshed the parched lips, and have aroused the paralyzed will. And souls that were near departing, they have held back from death. And the limbs which had fallen, they straightened and set up. They gave strength for their coming, and light to their eyes. For everyone knew them in the Lord, and by the waters they lived an eternal life.

Such is the glory and the power of the Divine Word. “So speaks in my members the Spirit of the Lord, and I speak by his love.”

Read the next article in The Odes of Solomon for Awakening: The Odes of Solomon: 7

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