Object of Our Devotion
By Barnabas Tiburtius
Yeshua said, "When you see one who was not born of woman, fall on your faces and worship. That one is your Father." —Saying 15, Gospel of Thomas.
This is a difficult saying from the point of view of an understanding that was intended by Yeshua and it is necessary for us to take a more esoteric route to fathom a great truth that is revealed in this saying. The meaning of this verse is "that which is unborn, self-existing, supreme is the source of everything and everyone and the only one that is worthy of true worship. This is the essence of bhakti yoga." All manifestations have their immediate source in a birthing process which we refer her as 'born of woman'. The feminine principle symbolizes the source of all creation.
This leads to the question of how one can perceive something that is not born out of pre-existent cause. Yeshua is not talking here about the sense perception of a created entity. This leads to another question, if it is not a created entity what are we then perceiving and with what do we perceive?.
Clearly this perception has to be outside the realm of the mind. An approach from the area of consciousness gives us a better grasp of this exercise.
The Bhagavad-Gita explains the mode of attaining the absolute, the Father of all, in the verses 3 and 4 of chapter 12, which illustrates the concept of bhakti yoga. The supreme wisdom of the divine states "But those who fully worship the unmanifested, that which lies beyond the perception of the senses, the all-pervading, inconceivable, unchanging, fixed and immovable—the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth—by controlling the various senses and being equally disposed to everyone, such persons, engaged in the welfare of all, at last achieve Me."
The dreamer does not undergo any change when the objects of the dream-world come out of him. Cotton appears as cloth without undergoing a real change. The cloth is nothing but cotton in a different form. The gold chain comes out of gold without any real change in gold itself. Similarly, clay appears as pot. Clay remains clay before the creation of the pot, during the creation of the pot, and after the pot is destroyed. There was no pot ever; it was clay all the time. Clay appeared as pot; water appears as ocean, waves and bubbles; gold became a chain; dreamer became dream objects without undergoing any real change. The fundamental truth is that the very substrate of existence is the Godhead or Cosmic consciousness.
Yeshua's saying also reflects this supreme truth that we need to worship the unmanifested, that which is fundamental to the creation. The distinction between the earthly begotten body and the eternal soul, which is an integral part of the Divine Father, must be clearly understood in lavishing our devotion. In most religions, the necessity for providing a proper grasp of the divine, through iconic representations, has resulted in the distortion of the fundamental nature of the divine and the very distortions are being worshipped as the real object of our devotion. This error has to be corrected and this is the instruction that Yeshua gives his disciples and followers.
Your true being is not that which emanates from the maternal womb of the earthly mother but the spirit which has come from the Father. Here the Father is the symbolic representation of Cosmic consciousness from which our true being finds identity.
Barnabas Tiburtius lives in India. A seeker throughout his life, he is involved in multi-discipline learning and his field of enquiry covers Cosmology, Sustainable Technology, Strategic Leadership, Philosophy and Spirituality. He regularly conducts workshops and seminars on spirituality and personal empowerment.