original sin: Consciousness lost in matter
the middle of the garden God placed the tree of life and the tree
of the knowledge of good and evil, Genesis 2.9.
are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not
eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when
you eat from it you will certainly die," Genesis
beings are already born in the illusion, tricked by the dual division
that produces the feelings of desire and repulsion for the things
of this world, Bhagavad Gita, VII.27.
to the Genesis, God created the Garden of Eden, with all kinds
of “beautiful trees that gave good fruits to eat”:
a creation with all different experiences. And in the middle of
the garden there stood the tree of life, with its fruit that gave
eternal life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The only condition to enjoy the paradise of Creation was not to
eat from the tree of the” knowledge of good and evil.”
tree of life is our own connection with Divinity, where we come
from. It’s described in the Bhagavad Gita (Chapter XV),
as a tree with the roots in Heaven, growing toward the physical
world of the senses:
Asvatta, the Transmigration tree, is eternal. Its roots are in
the Supreme Dwelling, and its branches grow downwards. Each leaf
of this tree is a sacred hymn. Whoever knows this tree, knows
2. Its branches extend upwards and downwards, receiving life from
the forces of Nature. Its shoots are the sensual pleasures. And
its roots grow into the world of mankind, where they are the cause
tree of life is our own consciousness, eternal, without beginning
or end. If we look for where it comes from, we will not find its
Men cannot understand the changing nature of this tree, nor do
they know where does it start or where does it end, or where its
our being, buries its roots in the Divinity, in the Supreme Dwelling.
This Supreme dwelling is what yogis call Sat-Chit-Ananda: Being-Consciousness-Joy.
Joy is not something we look for, it is our own nature. We mistake
joy with pleasure. Pleasure comes from the senses, and we feel
it when we posses something that we like or when we avoid something
that me dislike; pleasure depends of our external circumstances.
on the other hand, is unconditional, it is born inside ourselves
independently of the circumstances that surround us and the experiences
that we live. In India it is called ananda, the joy of the Being,
the divine joy. The joy that realized masters feel unconditionally
and transmit to the people around them.
have all experienced this joy, this happiness of the soul that
we feel when we are children, for no apparent reason, just for
being, and because life was unconditionally beautiful.
The subdued consciousness
come to this world from the divine consciousness, which supports
us, plunging into the sensual experiences. The pure consciousness
that we are descends in the form, getting tangled up with the
world of the senses, in the pleasure and the pain, forgetting
its own origins. Here is when we eat the fruit of the knowledge
of good and evil.
of good and evil is an state of consciousness inferior to the
state of divine consciousness. In it, the experience of the creation
is so strong that we forget the joy of our Being. The world activates
material and instinctive forces inside us, so powerful that the
superior consciousness is subdued by them, dragged by the experience
of the senses, and forgetting itself.
Eve (the shakti or energetic-sensual aspect in the human being)
serpent deceived me, and I eat the fruit,” Genesis
serpent, the instinctive energy, prevails over the superior consciousness,
dragging it to the instinctive joy (sex, food, pleasures of the
senses). The primordial forces drag us toward looking for pleasure
and avoiding the pain of the sensorial experience, which is so
compelling and radical that it makes us forget completely our
internal joy, which we once had, and which is the essence of our
the Genesis story about losing Paradise we see an “animalization”
process in Adam and Eve, as they become conscious of their sexual
organs, which embarrasses them, and end up covering themselves
with animal skins. Their original nudity is hidden, covered by
the animal sheaths:
Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed
them, Genesis 3.21
is nothing inherently bad about enjoying the senses; the idea
was for human beings to enjoy the Creation, but not to the point
of forgetting their Being, of forgetting their source of joy,
their innate Divinity.
loss of the internal joy plunges the human being into duality,
“the knowledge of good and evil,” constantly pursuing
pleasure and escaping pain, looking for an unattainable happiness
that only the unconditional joy of his Being can give him. This
is the loss of our paradise, our Garden of Eden. This is the human
condition, the “original sin” that every human being
is born with.
challenge for the human condition is to find again the way to
Eden, cutting with the sword of discernment the roots of the Asvatta
tree, buried in the forced ties to the sensorial duality.
do not quite understand the changeable nature of this tree, nor
do they know where does it start or where its roots are. But the
wise man who can see, wielding the temperance sword with force,
cuts down this tree of strong and deep roots, going thus toward
that path, walked by those that will never return, Bhagavad
and the tree of life
seven chakras, the psycho-energetic centers that we know in Yoga,
aligned on the spine, respond to different states of consciousness.
When they are fully activated (as it happens with realized beings)
they give off divine vibrations. The verse from the Gita refers
to them as the leaves of this tree of life:
the Supreme Dwelling you find its roots, and its branches descend
downwards. Each leaf of this tree is a sacred hymn. Whoever knows
this tree, knows the Vedas.
evolve spiritually following the divine curse, that is, “earning
the bread with the sweat of our brow” (Genesis 3.19), evolving
through suffering in the world of duality. This evolution slowly
activates the chakras, facilitating higher states of consciousness.
All saints and realized beings of all religions showed these heighten
states of consciousness, which include abilities and powers that
we consider miraculous.
Yoga, by controlling the vital energy through postures, meditations,
mantras, breathing, etc., we facilitate this evolution, creating
within ourselves an energy system that can support the high vibration
from higher states of consciousness. We are rebuilding the tree
of life inside us.
he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden
of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to
guard the way to the tree of life, Genesis 3.24.
“flaming sword flashing back and forth” is our own
vital energy, dispersed and jumbled. In Yoga we learn to concentrate
and channel this energy toward our higher consciousness centers.
We know that the tree of life’s Supreme Dwelling is in the
crown chakra, on top of the head, and we try to create an energy
system that will allow its activation…it is not by chance
that saints and wise men from different religions have been represented
with an aureole above their heads.
saying from the Tantra affirms that “the same that makes
us fall, helps us get up”…through practicing yoga
we can turn that flaming sword of dispersed vital energy into
a sword of concentrated energy and discernment that can help us
recover our Kingdom:
destroy with the sword of Knowledge the doubt, born from ignorance,
that dwells in your heart. Take refuge in Yoga and get up, oh
Arjuna!, Bhagavad Gita IV.42.
up then, Arjuna! Go conquer your glory, beat your enemies and
rejoice in the kingdom that is yours, Bhagavad Gita XIII.33.