Terrestrial Sages on the Role of Purification

By Steve Beckow, Golden Age of Gaia

Ahhh, life without vasanas!

Yesterday we saw terrestrial sages tell us that purification is an integral phase of spiritual practice. Swami Yatiswarananda gave us a typical example of their counsel on the matter:

“Whatever be our spiritual path, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, or Sufi, the three stages we all have to follow are purification, meditation, and experience of the divine reality or Godhead.” (1)

Today I’d like to look among other terrestrial sages to see how they discuss the purification phase of enlightenment.

Da Free John emphasized its role in our ascent: “The chakra system and the philosophy it implied demanded a conscious, intentional purification and ascent toward concentration in the highest center and in the subtlest vehicle of being, the supra-causal body.” (2) That’s a pretty good description of the Ascension process.

Sri Aurobindo identifies our desires for worldly pleasures and possessions as one obstacle that needs to be overcome through purification:

“Desire is the root of all sorrow, disappointment, affliction, for though it has a feverish joy of pursuit and satisfaction, yet because it is always a straining of the being. It carries into its pursuit and its getting a labour, hunger, struggle, a rapid subjection to fatigue, a sense of limitation, dissatisfaction and early disappointment with all its gains, a ceaseless morbid stimulation, trouble, disquiet, asanti.” (3)

In other words, our desires occupy our attention. There’s no attention left for the purpose of life, which is to find out – that is, to realize – who we truly and essentially are.

Purification needs to replace the stirrings of desire with the mental calm that leads to perfection or Ascension, he counsels:

“To get rid of desire is the one firm indispensable purification of the psychical Prana, – for so we can replace the soul of desire … by a mental soul of calm delight and its clear and limpid possession of ourselves and world and Nature which is the crystal basis of the mental life and its perfection.” (4)

Of interest to us as financial wayshowers is the fact that purification can be accomplished through charitable acts, providing our intention is not self-glorification, as Krishna reminds us.

“Acts of sacrifice, almsgiving and austerity should not be given up: their performance is necessary. For sacrifice, almsgiving and austerity are means of purification to those who rightly understand them. But even these acts must be performed without attachment or regard for their fruits.”  (5)

If we do something with an eye to the rewards we’ll see from it, the act doesn’t have the effect of opening our hearts. But acts down out of compassion for others do have that effect.  And opening our hearts, in my view, is what Ascension is all about anyways: A full and permanent heart opening (Sahaja Samadhi).

Since the topic has been raised, let me add: To those who think that we leave this place when we ascend, look at any picture of Sri Ramana Maharshi. You’re looking at a person who’s entered Sahaja Samadhi or Ascension.  Notice that he exists quite peaceably in the Third Dimension.

Ascension is a state of being and a state of consciousness, not a geographical location. That doesn’t restrict an ascended  person from choosing to live elsewhere, but it’s not inherent in ascending.

What we lightworkers have been encouraged to do to purify is to experience to completion our vasanas or stuck places, those childhood traumas which we refused to re-experience. These are the obstacles to the relaxed and calm state in which Self-Knowledge arises.

The twig was bent, the tree inclined, and now we’re straightening out the crooked places so that the kundalini energy can flow unimpeded up the sushumna canal to the crown – and beyond.

Our successful efforts remove the obstacles to Self-Knowledge. Well, our efforts plus a Tsunami of Love and Porlana C and whatever else is hitting us and stripping away our constructed selves or egos.

All terrestrial sages throughout history have recognized the centrality of purification to Self-Realization and Ascension.

Purification precedes and invites enlightenment.

I’ve only had brief experiences of higher states, too few and brief to make any firm statements. But I’m willing to wager that once we remove our issues and conditioning, the Self will make its conclusive and blissful presence known.


(1) Swami Yatiswarananda in Christopher Isherwood, ed., Vedanta for Modern Man. New York: Collier Books, 1962; c1945, 133-4.

(2) Da Free John,The Knee of Listening. Original Edition. Clearlake, CA; Dawn Horse Press, 1984; c1973, Original Edition, 117.

(3) Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1983, 628-30.

(4) Loc. cit.

(5) Sri Krishna in Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, trans., Bhagavad-Gita. The Song of God. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1972; c1944, 120.


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