Friday, April 5, 2013

Lha, Nyen, and Lu: Asha, Rta & Natural Hierarchy


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Proto-Indo-Iranian religion means the religion of the Indo-Iranian peoples prior to the earliest Vedic (Indo-Aryan) and Zoroastrian (Iranic) scriptures. These share a common inheritance of concepts including the universal force *rta (Vedic rta, Avestan asha)....

"Chogyam Trungpa sketched in the outlines of what a Shambhala culture means. “Shambhala is our way of life. The Shambhala principle is our way of life. Shambhala is the Central Asian kingdom that-developed in the countries of the Middle East, Russia, China, and Tibet altogether. The basic idea of Shambhala vision is that a sane society developed out of that culture, and we are trying to emulate that vision. That particular system broke down into the Taoist tradition and Bon tradition of Tibet, the Islamic tradition of the Middle East, and whatever tradition Russia might have. It has broken into various factions."

"In the Vedic religion, Ṛta (Sanskrit ऋतं ṛtaṃ "that which is properly joined; order, rule; truth") is the principle of natural order which regulates and coordinates the operation of the universe and everything within it."...Holdrege, Barbara A. (2004). "Dharma" in: Mittal, S. & Thursby, G. (Eds.) New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-21527-7.

In the hymns of the Vedas, Ṛta is described as that which is ultimately responsible for the proper functioning of the natural, moral and sacrificial orders. Conceptually, it is closely allied to the injunctions and ordinances thought to uphold it, collectively referred to as Dharma, and the action of the individual in relation to those ordinances, referred to as Karma - two terms which eventually eclipsed Ṛta in importance as signifying natural, religious and moral order in later Hinduism. Sanskrit scholar Maurice Bloomfield referred to Ṛta as "one of the most important religious conceptions of the Rig Veda", going on to note that, "from the point of view of the history of religious ideas we may, in fact we must, begin the history of Hindu religion at least with the history of this conception".....Ṛtá

In an essay entitled “Heaven, Earth, and Man,” based on one of Chogyam Trungpa’s dharma art workshops, he emphasizes what he called “art in everyday life.” The cool, peaceful expression of unconditional beauty offers us the possibility of being able to relax enough to perceive the phenomenal world and our own senses properly. The dynamic of heaven, earth, and man (an ancient hierarchy of the cosmos) is basic to any artistic endeavor—painting, building a city, or designing an airplane—as well as to perceiving the art that surrounds us. During the twenty-year period of his teachings in the West, calligraphy was a primary means of this type of expression

"The notion of a universal principle of natural order is by no means unique to the Vedas, and Ṛta has been compared to similar ideas in other cultures, such as Ma'at in Ancient Egyptian religion, Moira and the Logos in Greek paganism, and the Tao."....Ṛtá

"Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior. The seventeenth chapter is entitled "Natural Hierarchy." In it Trungpa Rinpoche talks about three "principles," which in Tibetan are called lha, nyen, and lu. Lha refers to the divine, or to "the highest points on earth." Nyen refers to the human domain, or to "the great shoulders of the mountains," and "includes forests, jungles and plains." Lu refers to "water being[s]," or to "oceans and rivers." Trungpa Rinpoche thinks that these three principles "describe the protocol and the decorum of the earth itself, and they show how human beings can weave themselves into that texture of basic reality."

"Avestan Aša.....Indo-Iranian inheritance. By reconstructing on the basis of the Avesta (esp. the Gāθās of Zarathustra) and the Vedas (esp. Rigveda) inherited formulas (phrases, figures of speech) it is possible to recover fragments of the religion and poetry of the common Indo-Iranian period (about 2000 B.C.) otherwise not directly attested. The most important formulas containing *ṛtá are the following (for the complete material see B. Schlerath, Awesta-Wörterbuch, Vorarbeiten II, Wiesbaden, 1968, pp. 168-82): *ṛtám man- “to think (of) truth” (Y. 31.19 and Rigveda); *ṛtám vaźh- “to drive the truth” (Y. 46.4 and Rigveda): The religious poet drives the true words of his hymn as the charioteer the horses; the metaphors of Indo-Iranian poetry are taken from the world of warriors. From that we can conclude that there were in that period no classes like those attested later in the Avesta and the Veda. ) *ṛtásya path “the path of the truth” (Y. 51.13 and Rigveda): The hymn goes on that path to the gods; (4) *ṛtā sak- “to follow (= to be in alliance with) truth” (Y. 34.2 and Rigveda): The poet follows the truth as a follower a feudal lord. Sak- is a social technical term (cf. *sakhi “companion”). Compare also śárdhān ṛtaśya (Rigveda 8.7.21) “troops of truth” and the Av. personnal name aṧasarəδa- “combatant of truth;” (5) *ṛtā van- “to win with the help of truth” (Y. 53.5 and Rigveda; (6) *ṛtām dhar- “to uphold the truth” (Y. 43.1 and Rigveda; (7) *ṛtām yaź- “to venerate the truth” (Y. 51.20, Yasna Haptaŋhāiti, and Rigveda); (8) *ṛtām sap- “to serve truth” (Y. 31.22 and Rigveda); (9) *ṛtām vasu “good truth.”......

"Heaven, Earth and Man: "can be seen literally as the sky above, the earth below, and human beings standing or sitting between the two":
Heaven, "the realm of the gods, the most sacred space."
Earth, "symbolizing practicality and receptivity, the ground that supports and promotes life."
Man, "living in harmony with heaven and earth." (pg 129-130) "First, you must trust in yourself. The you can also trust in the earth of gravity of the situation, and because of that, you can uplift yourself." (pg 78)".......


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….April 2013


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