Longevity & Immortality
By Jonathan Parker, Ph.D.
Hi Jonathan, I'm confused on the topic of aging. In the Life And Teachings series of books, as well as in the Piercing Illusions program, it is said that aging is just an illusion. I'm just wondering why more enlightened souls don't live past 100, 200 or 300 or 400 for that matter. Some "enlightened" teachers have died at relatively young ages. What is your take on this Jonathan? Are there any other determining factors which will prevent a person from living to 200 or 300 years old, if they spend countless hours on age reversal meditations? Is there also a collective consciousness at work here? Love and Light Always, Dusty
What is possible and how many actually accomplish it are two different things. There are records of some who have attained ultra-longevity or possibly even immortality in quasi-physical bodies, but information on this subject is scarce. There are at least three major factors for this. Those who do achieve this level of development usually withdraw from public scrutiny, this is a very esoteric subject and therefore little has been recorded on how to achieve it, and for others it is simply not a goal.
When one reaches a state of nonduality or enlightenment, for instance, the person's view of physical life changes dramatically. Physical life is the only life most people are aware of, but others are aware that the physical dimension is only one of many, and there is far more beyond it. This being the case, at a more enlightened state the fear of death fades away. These beings are aware that their consciousness is not attached to the physical body or physical dimension.
Three Issues to Consider
To obtain ultra-longevity first of all requires a complete cleansing from all fear, pain, judgments, desires, attachments, and distortions, and the complete internalization of a philosophy of longevity.
Secondly, one must unravel the personal death urge absorbed from family and ancestral consciousness. There is a strong force imposed on all people by the beliefs and patterns in the mass consciousness.
In fact, one of the most powerful determiners of life span is family and ancestral consciousness. The time of death is often determined by a family pattern. Life span consciousness is usually transmitted from parent to child, generation after generation, without questioning it. Statistically family members tend to die, generation after generation, of the same symptoms and at about the same age. If this were solely due to genetic factors there would not being exceptions to family tradition. For example, Charles Dickens died at age 58; his son Charles Culliford Dickens, died in age 59; his grandson, Charles Walter Dickens, died at 58; however, dozens of other descendants lived much longer than that.
The third step is to develop mastery of the physical body -- the physiology of physical longevity. Most sources say the traditional path includes cleansing the mind and body through breath mastery, fasting, mastery of alternate dimensions, the use of food and water purification, and advanced meditation.
Those who are committed to longevity say that we can consciously change family patterns and control the quality of our bodies. It may be that the whole issue of death is largely determined by one's mind and the practice of certain disciplines. This can also include proclivities to sickness and accidents.
Some argue that all death is suicide -- usually unconscious. Affirmations are useful to establish a mindset of a certainty for longevity. For example: I go on living in increasing health and youthfulness. My mind is eternal. My body as matter and energy is eternal. I have a right to keep physically living as long as I choose. Divine energy nourishes and sustains my mind and body. Life is eternal. Since I am life, I am eternal. My thoughts and mind determine the age of my protoplasm. Eternal protoplasm loves being my whole body. All my cells are filled with eternal life and healing intelligence which responds to my affirmations.
As wonderful as these affirmations are they are only a small part of the equation. (I have done audio programs on this subject titled; Longevity--Life Extension & Joy of Living. Type any of those words in the search box in the upper right-hand side of the page and you will find them.
Stories of Ultra-Longevity
There are very few sources that focus on the highest esoteric teachings on this subject. The great Tamil scholar Kamil V. Zvelebil wrote useful introductions to the Siddhas of South India in "The Poets of the Powers" and and "The Siddha Quest for Immortality." Marshall Govindan's "Babaji and the 18 Siddha Kriya Yoga Tradition" focuses primarily on the legendary Babaji, one of the immortal Siddhas who was introduced to Western students by Paramahamsa Yogananda's "Autobiography of a Yogi."
From these sources we learn that medieval Siddhas were adepts of Kundalini Yoga and experts in alchemy and medicine, and that they were intent on creating a transubstantiated immortal body for themselves. A more recent book "The Alchemical Body" by David Gordon White examines in great detail this little understood subject.
Practitioners of medieval alchemy and tantra share a common quest for personal immortality in the divinized somatic vehicle (called di-vya-deha, siddha-deha, vajra-deha, or svarna-deha). But whereas alchemy uses extra means for accomplishing this, tantra yoga understands "purification of the elements" as an inner, meditative process without which the mysterious Kundalini energy cannot be mobilize successfully. Once the Kundalini has risen to the crown center, or it merges with the cosmic energy, it trigger's the flow of nectar of immortality (amrita or soma). This is said to ooze from the lunar chakra, and from there spread throughout the body. The continuous irrigation of the body in this manner gradually leads to the complete transmutation of the physical body, with measurable changes in the body's chemistry. Ultimately the physical vehicle becomes a radiant field.
After 18 months of arduous Yogic discipline, the yogi Nagaraj entered a state of soruba samadhi wherein the Divinity descended, merged with and transformed the spiritual, intellectual, mental, vital and physical bodies. The physical bodies ceased to age and sparkled with a golden luster of Divine incorruptibility. "The Divine Song of Grace" is one of the greatest master works of the Tamil language. Written in melodious verse, it expresses the nature and attributes of God, the soul and the symphony of life. It describes the various stages of self realization and the transformation of Ramalinga's mortal human frame into a Divine immortal body.
Ramalinga wrote that his mortal body became resplendent with a golden hue and transformed into a "body of love." His "body of love" was transformed into an effulgent body, known as the "body of grace," or "body of light." Unlike the previous one, this body was imperceptible to the sense of touch. It is imperishable and non-susceptible to the ravages of nature. His aspiration to merge with God was fulfilled. He stated: "I prayed for an effulgent body that would endure forever against wind, Earth, sky, fire, water, sun, moon, death, disease, weapons of killing, planets, injuries of evil deeds or anything else. He later fulfilled my prayers and I have such a body. Think it not a mean gift. Oh people, seek refuge in my father who is the Lord of the Beatific Splendour that immortalizes even the material body." (Canto 6, Chapt. 13, verse 59).
The Refined Body Can't be Photographed
It was about this time that the disciples of Ramalinga tried to photograph him. A famous photographer attempted to photograph him eight times, but the photographic plates revealed only his clothing and no part of his body. His body had been converted into a body of sublime light and hence it would not reflect on the photographic plate. His body cast no shadow. To avoid undue publicity he covered his head and body with a white cloth. According to descriptions in Canto 6, chapter 99, verse 6, chapter 139, verse 98, and chapter 1, verse 1490, this "golden body" appears to be about 12 years of age.
There are no more physiological activities--no food, digestion, excretion, growth, or aging. Externally it appears gracefully beautiful. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.
With this example and others that are described in the books referenced, you can see that there is more to human potential than most ever consider. The number who have reached this state is not large, and the discipline required to attain it is more than most are willing to expend. Furthermore, it would be a significant search to find the practices one must follow that would guarantee the results one is looking for.
There are serious scientists who believe that the way will be found to significantly extend life in coming decades. See the book, "The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology," by Ray Kurzweil.
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