The Seven Jewels of Wisdom in the world religions
Published: Thursday, 27 September 2018 15:32
By the editors of Lucifer – the Netherlands
[This is a reprint from Lucifer – the Messenger of Light, an original publication of I.S.I.S. Foundation, i.e. International Study-centre for Independent Search for truth. The editor is grateful for the permission given to make this important paper available for all readers of Theosophy Forward.]
Evolution (Pravritti and Nivritti)
The fifth Jewel of Wisdom consists in Sanskrit of two words: pravritti and nivritti. Pravritti means ’to turn
around’, ‘to roll’ also ‘to unfurl’ or ‘to unfold’. Nivritti means the opposite, i.e.: to roll-back, ‘wrapping’ or ‘to involute. So, the concept of evolution is linked to involution. Hence, the unfolding and the wrapping take place simultaneously.
The idea is that life first descends into matter. It wraps itself in, in a manner of speaking. It involutes. At the deepest point of this ‘wrapping in’, which is the peak of the physical development, the process turns around and matter enwraps itself and life unfolds itself.
As a vision you can imagine: a being is located at the top of the hierarchy and descends, through various in-between phases, down into matter in order to gather experience and then it returns back to the spiritual level, enriched with the experience gained in the manifestation.
This grand process is the background of the huge Indian epic the Mahâbhârata, where the Bhagavad-Gîtâ takes a central place. In this epic the ups and downs of a royal family come to life. Initially one branch of the family rises to power. The blind King Dhritarashtra sits on the throne, but hands over the scepter to his son. The more noble branch of the family, the Pandavas, is exiled.
For one who actually understands the symbolism, it is clear what is described here. It is the wrapping of the spirit, which goes hand in hand with the development of the material side. Dhritarashtra is not depicted as being blind by coincidence. He represents matter or the physical body and his son, Duryodhana, and their family, the Kauravas, represent the materially oriented aspects of consciousness.
Half way through the Mahâbhârata, however, the Pandavas decide to claim their rightful place in the Kingdom. At this place in the great epic the Bhagavad-Gîtâ is situated. Arjuna, one of the Pandavas, receives tuition from Krishna, his teacher and symbol of the inner god.
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