Thunder

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Thunderbolt

The thunderbolt is not the crash of the lightning.  That, of course, is the thunder.  However sometimes the individual discharge of electricity is referred to as a bolt, just as the arrow used with a cross-bow is called the bolt.  (It was Benjamin Franklin [1706 - 1790] risking his life during a storm, who demonstrated the actual nature of lightning as an electrical discharge, by tying a metal key to his kite string.)

The Hindu epic Ramayana tells how the sons of the storm god were created.  The goddess Diti wanted to have a child who would rival Indra, ruler of the gods, so she planned to remain pregnant for a whole century.  When Indra learned of her intention, he upset her plan by hurling his thunderbolt at her pregnant belly.  It shattered, but from the splintered fetus were formed the Maruts, deities of wind and storm. 

Thunder Stones

The term thunderbolt refers not only to dramatically, powerful energy, but also to the mysterious, heavy and dense irregular objects that were occasionally found on the ground.  Even in olden times they were not regarded as ordinary stones, but rather objects from the heavens that could have possibly originated in the realm of the gods.  Today, we know them as meteorites.

Before metal was extracted by the use of intense heat, iron and other metals could occasionally be found in a usable form in conjunction with or embedded in, these thunderbolts.  Anyone who possessed or knew where to find iron, nickel or even copper, was at a great advantage.   They derived earthly power from the gift of the powers of heaven.

The sacred Black Stone of the Ka'aba, the Islamic shrine at Mecca, Arabia, seems to be a meteorite.  It is reddish black with red and yellow particles and is today in several pieces: three large parts and some smaller fragments joined together by a silver band. Its original diameter was about 30 cm. There is a second rock, built into the western corner, known as the Stone of Good Fortune.

"Sharing" Sacred Thunderstones

A sacred meteorite, the Willamette Meteorite, is a 15.5 ton, 10,000-year-old rock called Tomanowos (Sky-person) by the Clackamas (Grande Ronde) "Indians."  They use it in religious ceremonies, but it is now confined indoors as the centerpiece of the New York Museum of Natural History's collection. 

In the 1800s, Admiral Peary, discoverer of the earth's North Pole, stole 3 important meteorites from the site known as Cape York.  They included the Woman and the Dog meteorites, as well as the 34-ton Ahnighito (the Tent,) which were some of the very rare sources the Inuit could use for  making durable tools.  He sold them to a New York museum for as little as $40,000.

Several similar thefts have occurred around the world.  In Alberta (Canada,) the Tsu T'ina (aka Blackfoot) had their Manitou Stone known as the Iron Creek Meteorite stolen by Methodist minister, John McDougall, initiator of the Calgary Stampede. 

Classical Mythology

The sky gods of Greece and Rome, Zeus and Jupiter, were depicted hurling thunderbolts.  

This keraunos (thunderbolt) is virtually identical to the tantric  thunderbolt, the vajra or dorje [or benzar] sceptre

Notice that in the small ceramic figure of Zeus, the keraunos in his raised right hand is closed.  (It is a one-ponted vajra.) The earlier, Etruscan god, Tania, and the Gallic deity, Taranus, are similarly represented. 

 

 

 On some coins from the Classical period, the 5- pronged bolt is depicted in the open or active  position.   Below, in a section from a marble frieze, we can see the open keraunos.  Unfortunately, the lower half of the thunderbolt has lost some prongs.  Torso of Jupiter in high-relief, an open dorje by his right side.

The Greeks referred to the supreme creative power controlled by Zeus in his capacity of demi-urge, as fire-ether.  This is a metaphysical element that marries two of the usual 5 elements of the Classical world.

It was as a thunderbolt that Zeus fatally embraced Semele, mother then, of Dionysos, god of ekstasis.  Dionysos' attribute is the thrysos which somewhat resembles a one-ended dorje; it is a wand of willow wound in ivy crowned with a pinecone. 

Zeus used the bolt on Semele (aka Persephone) to take the baby from her and also to kill the healer, Asklepios, who presumed to restore the dead to life.

Jupiter, ruler of the gods of the Romans, was believed to wield the 3 thunderbolts of chance, destiny and providence. 

In English, the term used by the Roman poet, Virgil, for thunderbolt can be rendered as  fire-spade.  He describes this flaming dart or harpoon as having 12 points or tongues of flame: 3 of hail, 3 of wind, 3 of rain and 3 of fire.  In The Aeneid, the Cyclops refashioned and polished these bolts of adding the 4 qualities of fear, riot, terror and rage.    

The Cyclopes [or Kyklopes] were 3 brothers: 

Ouranos [Sky] was the first to rule over the entire world. He married Ge [Earth] and sired first the Hekatonkheires, [100-handed Ones] who were named Briareos, Gyges and Kottos ... . After these he sired the Kyklopes, by name Arges [Brilliant One], Steropes [Illuminator] and Brontes [Thunderer], each of whom had one eye in his forehead. But Ouranos bound these and threw them into Tartaros (a place in Hades’ realm as dark as Erebos, and as far away from the earth as the earth is from the sky.)

Now Ge, distressed by the loss of her children ...  persuaded the Titans to attack their father, and she gave Kronos a sickle made of adamant.  So all of them except Okeanos set upon Ouranos, and Kronos cut off his genitals tossing them into the sea. (From the drops of the flowing blood the Erinyes [Fates] were born named Alekto, Tisiphone, Megaira.) 

Thus having overthrown Ouranos’ rule the Titanes retrieved their brothers from Tartaros and gave the power to Kronos. But Kronos once again bound the Kyklopes and confined them in Tartaros. 

After ten years of fighting Ge prophesied a victory for Zeus if he were to secure the prisoners down in Tartaros as his allies. He thereupon slew their jail-keeper Kampe, and freed them from their bonds.  In return the Kyklopes gave Zeus thunder, lightning, and a thunderbolt, as well as a helmet for Pluto and a trident for Poseidon.  Armed with these the three gods overpowered the Titanes, confined them in Tartaros, and put the Hekatonkheires in charge of guarding them.  

~ Apollodorus. The Library, 1.1-7.

“He [Zeus] soared ascending to the ethereal sky, and by his nod called up the trailing clouds and massed a storm, with lightnings in the squalls, and thunder and the bolts that never miss. Even so he tried, as far as he had power, to curb his might and would not wield the fire with which he’d felled the hundred-handed Gigante. There is another [lightning] bolt, a lighter one, in which the Cyclops forged a flame less savage and a lesser wrath, called by the gods his second armament.  With this in hand he went to Semele in Cadmus’ palace.”      

~ Ovid. Metamorphoses 3.299-311  ( http://www.theoi.com)

Wrath of the Gods

“Aesculapius, son of Apollo, is said to have restored life either to Glaucus son of Minos, or to Hippolytus, and Jupiter because of this struck him with a thunderbolt.  Apollo, not being able to injure Jupiter, killed the ones who had made the thunderbolt, that is the Cyclopes.  On account of this deed Apollo was given in servitude to Admetus, King of Thessaly.”

~ Hyginus. Fabulae, 49.

Any person struck by a thunderbolt is considered divine, as is the place on earth where the bolt lands.  The word bolt refers to a heavy short arrow such as one shot from a cross-bow.  It is two-headed symbolizing the bi-polar nature of divine energy: creative and destructive.

When the bolt has cleft, split or otherwise destroyed something or some place, it is often described/depicted as a hammer or double-headed axe.  In other words, sometimes the hammer is a form of the thunderbolt.  The hammer is associated with transformation as with that of the smith, Hephaistos and the Norse god, Thor whose weapon is Mjolnir; the axe or mace with Parashu-Rama, the 6th avatar of Vishnu who learned weaponry from Shiva, and the double ax with the ancient Goddess of the Minoans.

The Hindu god, Skanda, son of Shiva and god of war, and the Vedic gods  Rudra, god of storms and Indra, king of the gods are also associated with these celestial weapons. 

Other smith-deities, gods with transformative powers, appear in the mythology of the Dogon of West Africa.  The Yoruba know Shango [Xango] of the double-axe with 3 heads and 6 eyes.  The Chinese smith, Tou shen also wields the ax.

Weapons similar to the dorje include Thraetona's gurz, and in the Irish tradition, Cuchulainn's gai, Bulga, with which he slew Ferdia and the Fomors, a group of demons of darkness.

Thunderbird

Here is Jove's eagle clutching a 5-pronged bolt in its talons.

item 3821. APULIA, VENUSIA, 268-217 BC. AE28 Quincunx, Sear 597. VF. 

The bird associated with Jove (aka Jupiter,) the Roman sky god, is responsible for thunder and lightning. The bird motif is common in a number of other cultures.  For example, among the aboriginal peoples of the American Pacific northwest, lightning was explained as the flashing of its eyes.   When a lightning strike left behind bark peeled off tree trunks, it was due to the slashing of the bird's claws. 

Umpundulo is the name of the thunderbird of southern Africa, to whom was also attributed the shredding of bark.  It is the flash of the bird's gleaming feathers that produces the lightning, while thunder results from the flapping of its wings.

En-lightning

Mediterranean civilizations understood there to be an ultimate reality which could be manifested by gods only.  The thunderbolt and also similar weapons, such as the trident of Poseidon or Neptune, or the spear of Athena or Minerva, are the embodiment of that fundamental creative power.  In iconography, such implements are known as the "attributes."

The keraunos is also an emblem of sovereignty; Decorative figure of seated Zeus wearing a sari-like garment from a Greek calix or wine bowl.the sceptre wielded as a reminder of the link and authority of what is referred to in Buddhism as the dharmakaya.  It is a reminder, too, that ultimate reality can appear or intrude as suddenly and powerfully as a flash of lightening.  So we see that in the Greek tradition, enlightenment is generally understood as coming from somewhere outside individual consciousness.

In the red-on-black figure of Zeus which is an element in the decoration of a Greek calyx or wine bowl, the keraunos resembles a lotus flower.

 

Min is the ancient pre-dynastic Egyptian god of energy as fertility and sexual potency.  In depictions, he holds what appears to be a cable of two cords that he grasps at hip level in his right hand. It descends to the ground and then rises thus forming a U-bend since it is held up by the left hand.  There, above the hand, it terminates in a double helix coil.  This symbol is referred to as a thunderbolt.  

Manasi Devi is the Jain deity who is depicted riding a swan and bearing a thunderbolt in her arms.  In this context, the power of the bolt lies in its overwhelming light as well as its powers to overcome adversaries.  Also, there are other Jaina devis who have Vajra as a part of their designation.  (Jain deities are attendant on the Jinas [heroes, Perfected Ones, "saints"] and subordinate to them.)

Sura 17 of the Qur'an, "Night Journey," relates that in a vision Mohammed was carried "from the sacred temple to the farthest point, whose precinct we have blessed, that we might show him our signs." A legend later arose, not in the scripture, that he was accompanied by the archangel Gabriel and that they rode on a winged steed with the face of a woman and the tail of a peacock, called El Barak (Lightning.) 

The Semitic (Hebrew, Arabic) word for blessed is barukh which is derived from barak.  (Barukh is also used ironically to mean curse.)

What the Thunder Says

Indian mythology tells us that at the beginning of the cycle of the universes, there once was only one Being whose name is Prajapati.  Not wanting to be alone, he produced the beings of the various realms including the gods, the demons and men.

When the three groups of children were mature and it was time for them to assume their respective responsibilities, they went to their father for a final word of advice. 

First, it was the turn of the gods.  

Since Prajapati was a taciturn old man and very wise besides, he wanted to test them, so he took a deep breath and pronounced in a deep rumbling tone the single Sanskrit syllable:  Da.

He looked at the gods in a penetrating manner and asked, "Did you get that?"

They looked at one another, at their feet and up into their eyebrows.  "Yes, Sir," said the gods, "that must be short for damyata, or "control yourself." "

"That's right," said Prajapati.

Then the human beings approached him for his advice and he said to them, "Da." "Did you understand that?" he asked.

They looked at their fingernails and then they looked up at their father and replied, "Yes, Sir. You mean datta, "give charity"."

"Correct," said their father. 

Finally it was the turn of the demons. Again Prajapati rumbled, "Da" and then asked if they understood.

The demons looked down at their feet and finally raised their eyes to their father's face. "Yes, Sir," said the demons. "It is short for "dayadhvam" and you mean "treat others as not different -- be kind, be merciful."

"Yes," said Prajapati. "Please remember that.  And also know that I am well pleased with all of you."

Then they all bowed low before their father and went their separate ways.

So when we hear the roll of the thunder booming "Da, Da, Da" we can think it is the voice of the Creator repeating his instructions to all the various kinds of beings.  Or, we can consider the qualities of an excellent teacher who some consider to be the first Guru.  His is an excellent teaching for it reaches each student according to his level of understanding, his karma, and his duty.  

Indra, King of Hindu Gods 

At the beginning of time, when creation suffered drought, Indra defeated the serpent Vritra who had swallowed the waters of the world.  He split the belly of the serpent with his thunderbolt, and by releasing the waters generated life.  This killing of Vritra separated land from ocean, inducing the sun to rise.  

The vajra of this king of gods released the rain that induced fertility in the land.  In Nepal, Indra Jatra is a festival devoted to Indra in his aspect as the rain god.  

This attribute or tool of the king of gods can likewise induce fertility of mind or what is commonly called "spirit," freeing the energy that is trapped or dormant in us, so that progress towards enlightenment is facilitated. 

Indra, also called Devendra, is usually depicted with four arms, riding a white elephant, a cord or noose in his left hand and his thunderbolt or vajra [Skt. benzar] in his right.  He is said to ingest soma in vast quantities which causes his belly to swell.  His noose is also viewed as a knot or a string -- a component of the net which is the matrix of the universe.

  •  String Theory, a scientific hypothesis that is a contender for the Theory of Everything.

Indra's Net is said to have a brilliant jewel at each interstice [joining point] that reflects all the net [and jewels/diamonds] around it.  It seems infinite in all directions, and is a symbol of consciousness or awareness. 

Also known as Sakka or Shakra, Indra is Devaraja or King of Gods and his epithet is Vajrapani, Bolt-bearer.  Indra is the leader of the forces against the ashuras or titans.  

When the divine monkey-manchild saw the sun, he thought it was a ripe red fruit and made a grab for it.  He also tried to attack Ayravata, Indra's mount.  Lord Indra used his thunderbolt (vajrayudha) to stop him, but it hit the child's chin (hanu) causing him to hurtle to earth.  That is how the Hindu deity received the name, Hanuman

How the Vajra Came to Be

During the war between the Devatas and Rakshasas, the latter tried to steal the divine weapons.  The Gods (Devatas) were so astounded by this effrontery, that they did not know what to do and went to consult the  Sage Dadhachi.  This was a crucial matter, for the Universe was at stake. 

Dadhachi agreed to take custody of the weapons, keeping them by his side day and night and neglecting his own practices.  The Rakshasas were just waiting for any opportunity to lay their evil hands on the weapons. 

Dadhachi waited as long as he could for the Devatas to return to pick up their things, and when they did not, he decided to get on with his life. Using his own divine powers, he put all the weapons into his lotah or pot and, mixing them well with the water there, drank it all down. 

Of course, now the Devatas returned and asked the rishi for their weapons. The Maha-rishi explained what he had done, pointing out that by now the weapons had all been assimilated into his own body as his very flesh and bones. 

While his poor wife, Swarcha watched from the safety of their home, Dadhachi the Rishi created a blazing fire through force of his own will, entered into it and reduced himself to a heap of cinders and gleaming segments of bone. 

Drawn by this act of devotion, Lord Brahma appeared and converted each of the faithful sage's bones into the various familiar attributes of the Devatas.  The spine of Dadhachi became Indra's Vajrayudha which he used to vanquish the Ashuras and Rakshasas, and bring an end to the cosmic conflict.

Legend says the compassionate Buddha had an existence as Shakra [Tib. Gya yin].  

  • A catalogue of storm and fire deities. According to the account of Abdias of Babylon, there was a Persian sorceror called  Arphaxat who was killed by a thunderbolt at the same time that Christian martyrs Simon and Jude died. 

  • April is the cruelest month ... mixing memory with desire. That is how The Wasteland, by TS Eliot (1922) opens.  The publication of that poem marked a turning point in the aesthetic sensibilities of Western literature -- no longer is art merely what is inspiringly beautiful.  Eliot forced us to acknowledge that all is not well with Western civilization.  One of the sections entitled "The Fire Sermon" (the title refers to one of Buddha Shakyamuni's miraculous Turnings of the Wheel of dharma) ends with the poet's hearing in the rolling thunder, the Sanskrit words Dat-ta Dyadh-vam Dam-ya-ta (Give, Be compassionate, Control yourself ) followed by the hiss of Shantih shantih shantih.  That is, "Peace, peace, peace."

This remarkable poem was written at a time when Eliot was contemplating the teachings of Buddhism.     

  • William Golding in Pincher Martin, a tale about a slowly dying shipwrecked predator:  "[Man is] ... a freak, an ejected foetus robbed of his natural development,  thrown out in the world with a naked covering of parchment, with too little room for his teeth  an a soft bulging skull like a bubble.   But nature stirs a pudding there and sets a thunderstorm flickering inside the hardening globe ... ."  Consciousness is the thunderstorm; the dorje symbolizes its fundamental nature. 

  • The one truth is pointed to by a hundred terms.
    This is the essential nature taught by a hundred signs.
    This is the wondrous practice guided by a hundred methods. 
    Though you travel by a hundred paths, you arrive at just this, 
    This jewel of mind which dwells within.

    ~  Khacho Wangpo. The Rain of Wisdom: Vajra Songs of the Kagyu Lineage.  Boulder /London: Shambhala, 1980.  

The Bolt in the Symbolism of Tarot 

One reading of the tarot card that is the 4th in the series of 22 called the Major Arcana, The Emperor, finds that,  "the bolt represents Zeus' dominion over the universe: the central orb is the earth, the upper point and the four surrounding tongues represents the four quarters of the heavens, and the lower point and its tongues represents the four rivers of the underworld.  Four is . . .  the number of cosmic order and completeness which is also reflected in this trump's Greek letter, delta, which is the numeral four. "  Notice that the thunderbolt is depicted as having, at each end, four tongues around a central point.

(The numbering of the major trumps or major arcana in a tarot deck has to do with the Hebrew alphabet.  The fourth letter, daleth or dalet is traditionally used to stand for the numeral 4.  Its form represents a door. ) 

 

The Thunder, Perfect Mind

Words of a female oracle (name unknown) found among the Nag Hammadi texts, generally considered to be Gnostic Christian writings, that were discovered in Egypt in 1945:

  • The Thunder, Perfect Mind (George W. MacRae, translator)

I was sent forth from the power,
and I have come to those who reflect upon me,
and I have been found among those who seek after me.
Look upon me, you who reflect upon me,
and you hearers, hear me.
You who are waiting for me, take me to yourselves.
And do not banish me from your sight.
And do not make your voice hate me, nor your hearing.
Do not be ignorant of me anywhere or any time. Be on your guard!
Do not be ignorant of me.
For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am <the mother> and the daughter.
I am the members of my mother.
I am the barren one
and many are her sons.
I am she whose wedding is great,
and I have not taken a husband.
I am the midwife and she who does not bear.
I am the solace of my labor pains.
I am the bride and the bridegroom,
and it is my husband who begot me.
I am the mother of my father
and the sister of my husband
and he is my offspring.
I am the slave of him who prepared me.
I am the ruler of my offspring.
But he is the one who begot me before the time on a birthday.
And he is my offspring in (due) time,
and my power is from him.
I am the staff of his power in his youth,
and he is the rod of my old age.
And whatever he wills happens to me.
I am the silence that is incomprehensible
and the idea whose remembrance is frequent.
I am the voice whose sound is manifold
and the word whose appearance is multiple.
I am the utterance of my name.

Why, you who hate me, do you love me,
and hate those who love me?
You who deny me, confess me,
and you who confess me, deny me.
You who tell the truth about me, lie about me,
and you who have lied about me, tell the truth about me.
You who know me, be ignorant of me,
and those who have not known me, let them know me.
For I am knowledge and ignorance.
I am shame and boldness.
I am shameless; I am ashamed.
I am strength and I am fear.
I am war and peace.
Give heed to me.
I am the one who is disgraced and the great one.
Give heed to my poverty and my wealth.
Do not be arrogant to me when I am cast out upon the earth,
and you will find me in those that are to come.
And do not look upon me on the dung-heap
nor go and leave me cast out,
and you will find me in the kingdoms.
And do not look upon me when I am cast out among those who
are disgraced and in the least places,
nor laugh at me.
And do not cast me out among those who are slain in violence.
But I, I am compassionate and I am cruel.
Be on your guard!
Do not hate my obedience
and do not love my self-control.
In my weakness, do not forsake me,
and do not be afraid of my power.
For why do you despise my fear
and curse my pride?
But I am she who exists in all fears
and strength in trembling.
I am she who is weak,
and I am well in a pleasant place.
I am senseless and I am wise.
Why have you hated me in your counsels?
For I shall be silent among those who are silent,
and I shall appear and speak,
Why then have you hated me, you Greeks?
Because I am a barbarian among the barbarians?
For I am the wisdom of the Greeks
and the knowledge of the barbarians.
I am the judgement of the Greeks and of the barbarians.
I am the one whose image is great in Egypt
and the one who has no image among the barbarians.
I am the one who has been hated everywhere
and who has been loved everywhere.
I am the one whom they call Life,
and you have called Death.
I am the one whom they call Law,
and you have called Lawlessness.
I am the one whom you have pursued,
and I am the one whom you have seized.
I am the one whom you have scattered,
and you have gathered me together.
I am the one before whom you have been ashamed,
and you have been shameless to me.
I am she who does not keep festival,
and I am she whose festivals are many.
I, I am godless,
and I am the one whose God is great.
I am the one whom you have reflected upon,
and you have scorned me.
I am unlearned,
and they learn from me.
I am the one that you have despised,
and you reflect upon me.
I am the one whom you have hidden from,
and you appear to me.
But whenever you hide yourselves,
I myself will appear.
For whenever you appear,
I myself will hide from you.
Those who have [...] to it [...] senselessly [...].
Take me [... understanding] from grief.
and take me to yourselves from understanding and grief.
And take me to yourselves from places that are ugly and in ruin,
and rob from those which are good even though in ugliness.
Out of shame, take me to yourselves shamelessly;
and out of shamelessness and shame,
upbraid my members in yourselves.
And come forward to me, you who know me
and you who know my members,
and establish the great ones among the small first creatures.
Come forward to childhood,
and do not despise it because it is small and it is little.
And do not turn away greatnesses in some parts from the smallnesses,
for the smallnesses are known from the greatnesses.
Why do you curse me and honor me?
You have wounded and you have had mercy.
Do not separate me from the first ones whom you have known.
And do not cast anyone out nor turn anyone away
[...] turn you away and [... know] him not.
[...].
What is mine [...].
I know the first ones and those after them know me.
But I am the mind of [...] and the rest of [...].
I am the knowledge of my inquiry,
and the finding of those who seek after me,
and the command of those who ask of me,
and the power of the powers in my knowledge
of the angels, who have been sent at my word,
and of gods in their seasons by my counsel,
and of spirits of every man who exists with me,
and of women who dwell within me.
I am the one who is honored, and who is praised,
and who is despised scornfully.
I am peace,
and war has come because of me.
And I am an alien and a citizen.
I am the substance and the one who has no substance.
Those who are without association with me are ignorant of me,
and those who are in my substance are the ones who know me.
Those who are close to me have been ignorant of me,
and those who are far away from me are the ones who have known me.
On the day when I am close to you, you are far away from me,
and on the day when I am far away from you, I am close to you.
[I am ...] within.
[I am ...] of the natures.
I am [...] of the creation of the spirits.
[...] request of the souls.
I am control and the uncontrollable.
I am the union and the dissolution.
I am the abiding and I am the dissolution.
I am the one below,
and they come up to me.
I am the judgment and the acquittal.
I, I am sinless,
and the root of sin derives from me.
I am lust in (outward) appearance,
and interior self-control exists within me.
I am the hearing which is attainable to everyone
and the speech which cannot be grasped.
I am a mute who does not speak,
and great is my multitude of words.
Hear me in gentleness, and learn of me in roughness.
I am she who cries out,
and I am cast forth upon the face of the earth.
I prepare the bread and my mind within.
I am the knowledge of my name.
I am the one who cries out,
and I listen.
I appear and [...] walk in [...] seal of my [...].
I am [...] the defense [...].
I am the one who is called Truth
and iniquity [...].
You honor me [...] and you whisper against me.
You who are vanquished, judge them (who vanquish you)
before they give judgment against you,
because the judge and partiality exist in you.
If you are condemned by this one, who will acquit you?
Or, if you are acquitted by him, who will be able to detain you?
For what is inside of you is what is outside of you,
and the one who fashions you on the outside
is the one who shaped the inside of you.
And what you see outside of you, you see inside of you;
it is visible and it is your garment.
Hear me, you hearers
and learn of my words, you who know me.
I am the hearing that is attainable to everything;
I am the speech that cannot be grasped.
I am the name of the sound
and the sound of the name.
I am the sign of the letter
and the designation of the division.
And I [...].
(3 lines missing)
[...] light [...].
[...] hearers [...] to you
[...] the great power.
And [...] will not move the name.
[...] to the one who created me.
And I will speak his name.
Look then at his words
and all the writings which have been completed.
Give heed then, you hearers
and you also, the angels and those who have been sent,
and you spirits who have arisen from the dead.
For I am the one who alone exists,
and I have no one who will judge me.
For many are the pleasant forms which exist in numerous sins,
and incontinencies,
and disgraceful passions,
and fleeting pleasures,
which (men) embrace until they become sober
and go up to their resting place.
And they will find me there,
and they will live,
and they will not die again.
 

James M. Robinson, ed. The Nag Hammadi Library, revised edition. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1990.

 

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