By Swami Veda Bharati
Sri Vidya is a science of the universe, a science of self-knowledge. One of the countries where the word Sri is very popular is the Bali island.
Some of the ancient Rishis once established a brilliant civilization in what is now Indonesia. In Bali you would often hear of Bhu Devi or Sri Devi. Bhu Devi means the deity which is the Earth.
In every rice field in Bali there is a small shrine to Sri Devi. For each village there are priests who perform the appropriate rites. There’s a chief priest for the whole of Bali island, who, by his own method of internal coordination, sets up the entire agricultural policy: when the people of different areas should plant, when they should irrigate the fields, when they should reap the crop.
A few exceptional people did a computer model of what would be the best way to really coordinate the planting and the irrigation and the reaping of crops in the right time in all different areas and topographies of the island.
It turned out that the models thus prepared coincided with exactly what the chief priests of Sri Devi have been doing in guiding the entire country in matters of agriculture for the last ten or twenty centuries!
For details see Stephan Lansing’s book, Priests and Programmers: Technologies of Power in the Engineered Landscape of Bali (1991).
Sri Vidya is the intuitive mastery of exact sciences
The Queen of Thailand, Sirikit is actually the Sanskrit work Srikirti (“the glory of Sri”).
All the 850,000,000 Indians carry the title Sri, Sriman, Srimati, Su-Sri: one endowed with Sri. It is a title originally in ancient times reserved for those who were initiated into Sri Vidya, they in whom God’s glory of the universe has made a home, those who are endowed with knowledge, empowered with the energy and the intuition of mother Sri.
The basic text of Sri Vidya says: one who knows mother Sri can never be orphaned.
You might translate Sri Vidya as the science of capacities, the science of potentialities.
One of the first principles in Sri Vidya is that your individual self cannot be separated from the universal principles. In studying universal principles of any science, you must first be studying yourself. And the application of those principles must first be directed towards yourself so that you cannot study physics or chemistry without first studying yourself.
Sri-Vidya is thus a science of connections. The connections are realized not through writing research papers on them. But through processes of concentration, contemplation, meditation one achieves an assimilation of the universe and oneself.
Sri Vidya is God’s science of the universe. God’s energy, capacity, potentiality is three-fold: iccha, jñana, kriya. These are the 2 shaktis: iccha-shakti, jñana shakti, kriya-shakti, respectively the energy called Will, Knowledge and Action.
In that which you know to be self; in that which you know the self that is God; in that which you know to be the universe that is God, that is in God. In God that is the universe, God that is in the universe, God that is in you, God that is you.
These sentences must not be taken in a sequence, for if you depend on sequence of thoughts, then you will never reach that knowledge which in the Yoga Sutras is called a-krama, knowledge without sequence, simultaneous; flash of lightning, of truth; as knowledge in which these principles are not studied in a logical sequence, through an intellectual process but all of them flash as one. – (See Yoga-sutras III. 54)
When this, God’s science of creation, maintenance and dissolution, through his power called Will, Knowledge and Action, is absorbed, assimilated, is fully realized by the yogi he is then the master of Sri Vidya. Even these words are sequential, for the language fails here.
Sri Vidya is the science of energy fields of the metaphysical universe. The energy fields that are non-sentient and the energy fields that are sentient; the energy fields that know themselves to be, the sentient ones, and the energy fields that do not know themselves to be or whose degree of knowing is somewhat reduced.
When these energy fields are seen as parts of a single assimilated whole, then you begin to understand Sri Vidya, and that the microcosm and the macrocosm; the pinda and brahmanda; the shape and form on one hand and linga, that is your subtle body, your operative self, and the egg of God, the ovum that is the universe: all these are inseparable.
The concept of the universe as an egg is very basic to the Indian tradition of cosmology. Often the form of the linga, the sign of the presence of light that is worshiped in the temples of India, is somewhat oval; it represents the universe expanding within an oval space. If you take away the physical body of a human being, what remains is the oval of light.
Sri Vidya begins where quantum physics ends
The contemporary philosophers of science have reached a cul de sac, and do not seem to know where to go from there because they are presented with enigmas, the gigantic, vast and majestic koans, the mysteries of the universe in a jyotir-bindu, a pinpoint of light that is infinitesimal.[…]
The Tantra, which is an expansion of Sri Vidya, believes that the original energy dwelling in the first pinpoint of light, is a conscious one. Sri Vidya and all Tantra believes it to be that force which is consciousness. […]
Worship is the attitude which you may worship nature and the environment as sacred. The consciousness that is in me is not in me. I am that field called consciousness and so also what you refer to as nature is a field of that consciousness.
[…] In the Tantras it is said that one cannot learn music without the study of dance. One cannot learn dance without sculpture. One cannot learn sculpture without architecture. One cannot learn architecture without music. One cannot learn music without architecture. One cannot learn architecture without sculpture. One cannot learn sculpture without dance. One cannot learn dance without music.
For architecture is forms; it is solid music; music in solids; music cubed. Music can be seen as graphs; arising and falling of lines and energies. Make them into three dimensional solids, it becomes architecture. The body of architecture is dance. The relationship of dance and architecture is in sculpture. […]
This composite vision of art is part of Sri Vidya. And then one needs to see the entire universe as architecture and God as the architect. See the entire universe as music and dance, as we see in the dance of Shiva. All that is part of Sri Vidya, it is a great, grand vision. No, not vision. Not imagination. But, the image of reality.