12 January 2013

The Cult of the Hill

The below narrative is an abridged extract from “The Cult of the Hill,” by Kenneth Grant. To read more about Kenneth Grant's mystic writings on Arunachala go to this link here.

“Of the outer symbol of Sri Arunachala on earth, Lord Siva says, "Meditate on the fact that in the heart of the Hill surges the spiritual glory, within which the whole world is contained." 

Yet for those who are unable to live within sight of the earthly Arunachala, there need be no regrets, for the Hill itself is but a thought-construction same as any other. If we would grasp the inner significance veiled by the ‘dull’, outer form of its simple contours, we must search within the heart, and establish contact with that regionless bliss, void of all conceptions which the mind is capable of formulating. For Arunachala is the symbol of the void nature of the Self manifesting in so simple a shape as the ‘Hill of the Holy Beacon’. 

And so it is with the ‘Hill of the Holy Beacon’; go near to it in spirit and it is without shape, without colour, without attributes of any kind. It is only distance which lends it the illusory qualities it seems to possess. Really, we impress the void -- It essentially is with the attributes we seem ourselves to possess and then we imagine seeing what is not truly there. Thus it is our attributes we have to slough if we would come close to the sacred symbol and know its real significance, and our everyday life can help us insofar as we regard all things that occur to us in a new light. 

For instance, instead of viewing circumstances and conditions as isolated phenomena occurring to us for no reason at all, we should strive to regard each event as a stone upon the slopes of Arunachala; each trivial repetition of which event constitutes at last that sacred ‘mount of the spirit’ which is our true nature. 

For when Arunachala has been thus truly built into the fabric of our hearts, we shall need to view each separate part no longer as a separate stone of the divine edifice, but as the structure entire in its sublimely simple shape of the ‘holy Hill’. And then, entering into the heart thereof with understanding, we shall know the whole as the embodiment of that spirit of grace and compassion which eternally enlightens our hearts. 

In this way it is possible for the less advanced of us to perform a spiritual discipline while living in the world even though far removed from the outer symbol of divine grace in Tiruvannamalai. 

It is only when we realise that it is we who clothe the formless Arunachala with form, because we view it with the eyes of the body, that we shall begin to search within our hearts for the formless Reality which that form veils.

The underlying Reality shines forth as the pure and perfect void, conceptless and ever blissful. 

As an aid to the realisation of this, it may help the devotee -- if he be remote from the physical sight of the Hill – to create a mental picture thereof and endeavour through such a mandala to pervade the Hill and become one with it. Certain physical supports, such as a mound of actual stones taken from the Hill itself, may further the project and intensify the concentration, and also link the devotee in some subtle manner with the focus of spiritual peace abiding in Tiruvannamalai. 

Yet all this is of no avail if it be not always borne in mind that these accessories are but props for exalting the consciousness to the pitch necessary for contacting the subtle emanations of grace, which spring from the spaceless Arunachala Siva, whose eternal abode is the Heart. For, all takes place in, and is supported by, the void, of which the Hill itself is the perfect and singular symbol.” 

No comments: