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by Robert E. Svoboda

Part III of the Aghora trilogy. 

 About this book

It is always better to live with reality, because otherwise, without fail, reality will come to

live with you. —The Aghori Vimalananda

IF TO BE RELIGIOUS, in the truest sense of that much misunderstood word, is to thirst for water from reality’s fountain, then to walk the spiritual path is to turn your compass toward its ever-flowing well. The organized religions, which have set up camps downstream from that spring, all provide sketchy maps that trace a single trail to the source. The one map illuminating all the tracks leading spiritwards through the diverse terrains of existence is accessible only through the world’s sole dogma-free spiritual trekking agency: Aghora. Aghora, which literally means ‘unagitated,’ teaches aghoris (its practitioners) to focus and intensify their craving for reality until they learn how to transcend all that galls (the ghora) in life.

Then no internal or external stimulus, however ordinarily ‘agitating,’ will be able to interrupt or interfere with their one-pointed guzzling of the nectar of being.I obtained my orientation toward reality from my mentor, the Aghori Vimalananda, who showed little regard for organized systems of belief:

‘I have never believed in religion. Religions are all limited because they concentrate only on one aspect of truth. That is why they are always fighting amongst one another, because they all think they are in sole possession of the truth. But I say there is no end to knowledge, so there is no use in trying to confine it to one scripture or one holy book or one experience. This is why I say, when people ask what religion I follow, ‘I don’t believe in Sampradaya (sect), I believe in Sampradaha (incineration).’ Burn down everything which is getting in the way of your perception of truth.’

(Robert E. Svoboda, Aghora, At the Left Hand of God, Brotherhood of Life, Albuquerque, 1986, p. 167).

Aghoris, who do their damnedest to stand up to reality without having to lean on any reassuring doctrine or creed, strive always to do exactly what must be done at the moment when it becomes necessary. They learn what they need to know in the smashan, the cremation ground, worshipping death that they may die to their restrictions and be reborn into purity of perception. They accept with love everything that comes their way, knowing that whatever reality serves up is after all the meal that their karmas have created for them.

The Law of Karma, which is one of the most profound and fiendishly perplexing of reality’s axioms, is the Law of Cause and Effect, the law of ‘as you sow, so shall you reap.’ The oldest of the Upanishads expresses it this way: ‘Truly,’ one becomes good by good action and bad by bad action.’ (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad III.2.13). This law is better known to most of us as Newton’s Third Law of Motion:

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The mandate of this succinctly complex law regulates the potentially limitless implications of every small act performed by every actor within the manifested universe, meteor and microorganism alike. Everyone lives within the precincts of the ubiquitous Law of Karma, whether or not they accept its reality. Ignorance of this Law is no defense in the Court of Cause and Effect. As Lord Krishna declared in the Shrimad Bhagavata, ‘Karma is the guru; nay, it is the Supreme Lord.’

Every physical or mental action you perform and with which you identify yourself as the doer becomes a karma for you and produces a reaction which you will eventually have to experience. Like everyone else, aghori or atheist, you consume at each moment of your life that portion of your karmic grain that has finally matured. Likewise, each of your self-identified actions or reactions today shapes your future by seeding yet further reactions. Every individual being is a karmic slate of coming attractions and repulsions. Though we all physically share the same Earth-space and Earth-time, our individual causative schemata create for us individual universes of experience. There are as many universes as there are beings, each locating the environment—war or peace, wealth or penury, misery or ecstasy—that each assortment of karmas requires. Since limitations of time and space prevent everything from happening in our world all at once, the Law of Karma schedules its events to occur just in time, every time, in each cosmos large and small. Every interaction between two different universes of experience creates its own karma which duly propagates its own reaction. The more strongly you identify with your karmas, the more closely your experience will conform to the reaction they promise.