A STORY OF EAGLES
I still remember how, years back, in the first moments of Sahaja yoga in Austria, we discussed the symbol of the eagle, which was the emblem of the Roman legions. The bird had flown from Rome to Byzantium and from there to Kiev and Moscow or Vienna, where, double headed by now, it has become the symbol of the Romanov or Habsburg empires. From the crest of the Hohenzollern it landed on the national flag of Germany.
Indeed, eagles or condors adorn many national flags, most interestingly in Mexico where the eagle fights a serpent. Of course the American bald eagle seats on the seal of the president of the USA, the land of Shri Krishna. We may look closely at these symbols of the imperium because, naturally, we need to realize from where this eagle took its flight into the collective unconscious of mankind.
In the sahaja cosmology we have learnt that Adi Shakti has assigned their respective positions to the trimurtis. Shri Bramadeva is the creator, Shri Shiva is the infinity of spiritual perfection and bliss and the destination of the great pilgrimage, but also the aspect of destruction. Shri Vishnu, under His various avatats (incarnations) operates and guides the evolution of the whole system. Hence the simplification: G-O-D stands for Generator, Operator, Destructor.
We know that the primordial eagle, Garuda, is a celestial being, the vahana ( vehicule) of Shri Vishnu, that is, the aspect of God which guides evolution. It thus represents the support of this evolutionary force that was celebrated by the German philosophy of History (Fichte, Schopenhauer, Hegel).
Public power and the might of the State are here to deliver common prosperity, social peace and political security, balance and justice. This function relates to the tatwa (principle) of Lord Vishnu who regulates and manages the cosmos and thus projects the ruling archetype for the proper management of the human collectivity. The model of the perfect ruler, caring for the greatest happiness of the greatest number, who would inspire Plato’s King-philosopher, is shown by lord Vishnu in the incarnation of Shri Rama Purushottama. The righteous or perfect State has always been an object of speculation, an utopia or a drea, but it is a singularly German one. (Rechtsstaat),
Today, many contemporary Germans, having been put to shame by the nazi aberration, have lost the perception of their original idealism. Germans used to dream big dreams but as the latest turned into a nightmare, the modern Germans turned their back to their aspirations for a just Order and took refuge in materialism: matter is less volatile than ideas and a glossy BMW less risky than a swastika. May be they are having a point. Let us see how three times, the appeal of the ideal State that mobilized the German soul was foiled by the forces of negativity that are prevalent and victorious in this Kali Yuga, the Age of Darkness.
First failed attempt: the Holy Empire.
As the middle Age emerged from the barbary of chaos and feudal quarrels, the Holy German Roman Empire (“das Heiliges Roemisches Reich Deutscher Nationen”) was supposed to embody the order and justice of an ideal Christian State. The emperor was the Vicar of Christ, waiting for His return to give Him back the rulership of Christianity. Unfortunately the German emperors soon confronted the hegemonic designs of the pope as the Catholic Church fought to control Christianity and its core territory covering central Europe and Italy. The armies of Frederik II Hohenstaufen encircled Rome but the pope excommunicated him. Excommunication was the particularly effective Middle Age variant of psychological warfare.
Later, Dante Alighieri, a realized soul, was a partisan of the empire in the fight between Guelfes and Gibelins. He was banned from Florence for this reason and showed high clerics roasting in the hell of his “Divine Comedy”. But the Church, over the centuries, used the religious faith of simple people as its ideological weapon to capture temporal power. The priest defeated the medieval knight and his vision of a Christian empire of righteousness. When the Habsburg dynasty annexed the imperial crown, the Church through this dynasty controlled the Imperial power and unleashed the Thirty Years War to defeat Protestantism. When Napoleon finally terminated the Holy Empire, it was representing nothing but the fleeting shadow of a broken German dream.
Second failed attempt: the German Empire
As a result of the Catholic mania for political control, faith was used by the Jesuits to comfort the rule of absolute monarchs. Eighteen-century philosophers wanted to emerge from the obscure political theories of divine law monarchy. While French philosophers entrusted our fate to reason, their German cousins applied it to the old German preoccupation with politics. Kant and Hegel turned their mind to the issue of how best to rule men in fairness and justice. Hegel was an idealist whose intellect played hide and seek with the elusive and dialectic course of History, that is, Vishnu’s evolutionary mode of action. In his phenomenology of Spirit he saw the purpose of history to be the Spirit (Geist) or spiritual reality to actualize itself and reveal itself through the contradictory movements of human societies.
But his concept of a rational and ideal state to bring forth the longed for synthesis was, in time, captured by the Hohenzollern and their armies of Prussian civil servants (Beamten) and officers (Junkers.) The Hohenzollern turned into right sided bullies who pushed out the left sided Bavarian Wittelsbach on the side, defeated the Austrian in Sadowa in 1866 in order to take full control over the prized Germany. After the defeat of the French armies of Napoleon III in Sedan, William the First of Prussia was proclaimed German Emperor in Versailles. But in the process, the just state of shri Rama dreamt up by Hegel had become just the tool of Otto von Bismark’s militaristic “Realpolitik”. The folly of the First World War is the ultimate child of the Age of Reason.
Third failed attempt: the Third Empire (das drittes Reich)
The allied powers won World War I but lost the peace because of the short sightedness of the victors, singularly the French who wanted to punish the defeated foe (blocked agnya chakra of the French leader, Clemenceau). Humiliated by the harsh terms of its surrender, gripped by inflation, Germany prepared for its revenge. Typically it would do so in the garb of a new idealistic vision, the nazi Empire that was meant to last one thousand years. And Europe witnessed the rise of the totalitarian regimes. National Socialism captured Germany and, for a while, most of Europe. What is less known is that dr Goebles and other nazi manipulators of public opinions used symbols and archetypes to mobilize the innate enthusiasm and, yes, idealism of the German youth. The most famous are : the swastika, a sacred symbol from Asia, and, again, the eagle. Through these increasingly sinister empires, the symbol of the Garuda engraved on the shield of Wallenstein, the helmets of the Hulans or on the nazi insignia, had been annexed by the dark powers of destruction.
OK, who would dare a fourth attempt? All these ups and downs indicate that Germany, more perhaps than other European countries, unfolds the story of betrayed idealism. It has been deeply – but unsuccessfully – involved in the pursuit of the Rama tattwa, the establishment of the just and righteous system of governing. Still today, German support – and heavy financial contribution – to the European Union relates to this capacity for sustaining a larger political vision. Germans, in fact, are unconscious worshippers of Raja Lakshmi who bestows blessings on public powers. But it will all work out for them only when they will be connected.. Hence the first duty of German sahaja yogis is not to engage into politics or in another grandiose scheme of the ego but to establish the connection to the Power-that-makes-things-work, i.e. to give realization. So, eventually, our attempts at establishing a more just and equitable society will no longer look so pathetic. As Hegel had seen it, it will be brought about by the work of the Welt Geist, carried by collective self-realization.
Then the flight of the Eagle of Light will bring about the rule of the Higher One, as prophesized in the Apocalypse of John. Or may be, this time, it shall come on the white horse? Do you know what the horse means? These mysteries are to unfold. And all those who had longed for justice shall wipe out their tears.