There is a pair of items from Tim Miller to share with you today.
The first is his weekly blog post, which returns to all things celestial this week. And big things are happening there:
On Saturday July 26th at 3:42pm PDT, the Sun and Moon will be conjunct at 10 degrees Cancer in Pushya Nakshatra. This promises to be one of the most powerful new moons of this year, or any year. The Moon in Cancer is in the sign that it rules, its natural home. Pushya means “to nourish”–it is symbolized by the udder of a cow and provides the quality called “Brahmavarchasa Shakti”, the power to create spiritual energy. The presiding deity of Pushya is Brihaspati (Jupiter), the guru of the gods. As mentioned previously, Jupiter is also occupying Pushya, and is particularly strong here in its natural abode, offering support to the Moon. The Sun, Moon, and Jupiter are considered to be friends and having them all together in Pushya is thought to be particularly auspicious.
Tim goes on to note just how auspicious this conjunction is:
In fact, the Srimad Bhagavatam says that the conjunction of the Sun, Moon, and Jupiter in Pushya heralds the advent of the tenth and final avatar of Vishnu, Kalki. The appearance of Kalki signals the end of the Kali Yuga and the beginning of the Golden Age. Some people are actually suggesting that this will happen this weekend!
He does dismiss the possibility, noting that during the hundreds of years since the Srimad Bhagavatam was written, there have been numerous such heavenly alignments. Which is too bad, because it means that the second item from Tim — via email, so you may have received it — will still happen.
That event: That Tim will be out at Bhakti Fest in early September.
Wait, you’re saying — probably at varying degrees of outrage and volume. Why is it too bad that Bhakti Fest will be happening?
First off, let me remind you to stay in the bhav.
Secondly, it’s too bad because one of “aha” moments from our Yatra — not one of the major ones, admittedly — was recognizing that Bhakti Yoga is of a firmly dualistic nature: You’re serving, singing to, being devoted to God as a separate being from yourself.
We’re of the firmly non-dualistic bent, however. (Potentially even more radically so than your Advaita Vedanta way of understanding the world; that’s the subject for another blog.) So there is a natural hesitation or disconnect there.
But, yes, yes, there isn’t exactly a hard and fast wall between them. (Well, for some there is.) Devotion, singing, kirtan, etc. can be a way of expressing one’s non-dualistic knowledge of the world. Albeit it is different from the Bhakti path — one perhaps best associated with Krishna. And Tim, we know, encourages devotion to make sure we remain “juicy” given all the heat and tapas of the Ashtanga practice. But the devotion he shows — or at least as we experience his showing it — is part and parcel of the practice, and so still within a non-dualistic way of experiencing the world. As far as we’re concerned, anyway.
I could go on. Let me just conclude with: This is a complicated subject that hasn’t had a solid answer for centuries.
And it is a long way of saying: If you were thinking of going to Bhakti Fest, there’s another good reason to do so: You can catch an asana class with Timji. (Although the exact schedule doesn’t seem to be finished yet.)
Posted by Steve