Harry Terhanian.com

Wisdom from the son of Armenia.

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  • When I was a young boy, I was taken care of by my great auntie. She was my grandmother’s sister from my mother’s side and we called her Morkor (short for morakouyr which means mother’s sister). Morkor was my essential link to the traditions and legends and spirituality of Armenia. She survived the Turkish massacres of the Armenians although she had to walk from Malatia, Turkey to the desert of Syria like my mother. As she was older than my mother, she was kidnapped by Arabs and forced into a harem. After she gave birth to a child, she tried to escape with her baby. The Arab caught her and left her for dead after stabbing her. Fortunately, she survived as did her child. She made her way to Aleppo and finally with the help of my mother, who also survived miraculously, she came to the USA. One day, she told me about the Six thousand secrets of wisdom which is called vetz hazaria in Armenian. All she said was, “If you are fortunate enough, God will let you read the vetz hazaria and you will have all the knowledge possible for a human being.” Her words have always remained in my mind. Recently, I read Song of America by George Mardikian. I was pleasantly surprised to see the following short paragraph about vetz hazaria. “Der Haroutum had read the vetz-hazaria. To understand how important this was, you must know that the title means “six thousand secrets of wisdom.” There are only four or five copies of the vetz-hazaria in existence. They are all ancient and massive volumes, that have been written by hand on parchment. Very few are ever allowed to see and read them. Their whereabouts is a secret. In the history of my country, the readers of the vetz-hazaria have formed, down through the centuries, almost a mystic order, to whose members has been handed down the wisdom of the ages. And Der Haroutun, my father’s uncle, was one of them. This accomplishment - the reading of the “six thousand” - set him apart, as a star is set apart from the earth. It made him almost a god of learning. When the villagers wanted advice on family or spiritual matters, when they wanted important letters written or needed medicine for their children - in short, in the crises of their lives - they came to see my father’s uncle, because he had read the “Six Thousand.” (Song of America - George Mardikian, p. 4) What my Morkor said about the vetz hazaria was true. However, it was mysterious and seemingly out of reach. If a certain book or tomb is such a valuable source of knowledge, then why should it be kept so secret? The Bible, Koran, Buddhist writings and the vast Vedic literature is available for the edification of humanity. Why would the Armenians keep the vetz hazaria secret and accessible for only a very few like Mardikian’s father’s uncle Der Haroutun? To further complicate matters, I found that an Armenian man named Arthur Armin made a film called “Noumenon,” which purports a fable- like esoteric history of the vetz hazaria. Most of Armin’s film portrays events in Armenia, against the backdrop of the Biblical Mount Ararat. Supposedly six thousand years ago, a priestly elite convened a secret universal congress at the main temple seemingly dedicated to the cult of the Sun, nestled in the bosom of Biblical Mount Ararat. The secret council of the high priests of the twelve supreme temples (it is not clear where the other eleven temples are located in the world), which governs the world, resolves to destroy all existing cuneiform tablets that contain esoteric knowledge and guidance with regard to accessing an alternate universe/reality. Moreover, the council decides to limit the oral transmission of such information, considering that the spiritual/ theocratic class has begun to lose its authority, ceding power to the fledgling priestly class. The council finds that the exercise of secret knowledge in the absence of the highest spiritual principles and wisdom might endanger the very existence of humanity, especially in the future. Menua, a young priest at the temple of the sun, is among a few to be entrusted with the secret knowledge and given the right to acquire supreme spiritual enlightenment. As Menua undergoes a spiritual transformation on the path to reaching enlightenment, he sees the future – specifically, our present time – as well as his own reincarnation as a physicist. First, it is interesting to note that the title of the film, Noumenon, is a philosophical word which has a classical meaning from Greek philosophy and a newer meaning from the German philosopher Kant. If we accept the classical Greek meaning of the word used specifically by Plato, then the following describes the word’s meaning. Plato claimed there were two realms. One, the inferior realm, is the material, physical world perceived through the senses (eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin). He called this material realm the phenomenal world where there are temporary, material objects that can be perceived with our limited senses of perception. The other, the superior realm is the world of the immaterial, the spiritual, the world of realities not accessible to the body’s limited senses. Plato called it the noumenal world because it could not be perceived with the gross material senses of the body. It could be understood with a superior intellect that was completely free of mundane illusion. Plato claimed that all the forms we perceive in this material world are merely imperfect and temporary, shadow reflections of perfect, eternal forms in the superior realm. Only a person who is completely liberated from “the cave of illusion,” where there are only shadow reflections of forms, can come out into the light of pure knowledge and see the real, eternal forms. If we accept this Platonic definition of the word noumenon, then Armin’s depiction of what happened six thousand years ago on Mount Ararat becomes plausible. The priestly council of the world’s elite sages sit in council and decide “to destroy the cuneiform tablets that contain esoteric knowledge and guidance with regard to accessing an alternate universe/reality.” Then a young priest, named Menua, and a few others are chosen to receive the supreme knowledge of enlightenment and they constitute a select elite for the secret knowledge. Accessing the alternate universe or reality is very similar to Plato’s superior realm populated with eternal, perfect forms. Thus, the Vetz Hazaria was a book of ancient wisdom that revealed how a sincere person could attain eternal life in a state of perfect harmony with God in the spiritual world where eternity, bliss and ever increasing love are experienced. It also contained practical knowledge of this world by which an enlightened person could avoid most mundane problems and attain the freedom to attain their cherished goal of liberation from temporary mortal life. According to Mardikian, a few copies of the Vetz Hazaria were present when he was still a young boy in Western Aremnia. These were reserved for a select number of chosen men who could benefit the lives of ordinary people with this ancient wisdom. The chosen few could impart knowledge how to live successfully in this world and when appropriate they could recommend that a few could access the higher knowledge of total emancipation.

    I will summarize the main sections of Vetz Hazaria for the benefit of all people. This precious knowledge is not subject to normal academic study. Although you will be able to read it in summary form, it still cannot be realized simply by reading. It is revealed by a descending process from teacher to student or guru to disciple. Becoming a sincere disciple of a genuine teacher or guru is required so that one receives the full revelation of the knowledge. It is impossible to simply study this knowledge academically and successfully assimilate it.

    The following are the outline chapter titles covered in the Vetz Hazaria: origin of humanity, difference between humans and animals, laws of nature that regulate all living beings, the difference between the body and the soul, how to free the soul from material entanglement of the body, evolution of consciousness by understanding the five basic truths of life: who is God, who we are in relation to God and in relation to the material world, what is time, what is the material nature, what is mankind’s essential duty in life. By understanding these five basic truths of life a person can attain the ultimate goal of existence, which is pure love of God and complete liberation from the illusion of material existence. The above is a very short summary of the Vetz Hazaria. The book contains detailed information about these five basic truths of life and supplemental information about mastering certain powers of nature such as foreseeing the future, correct analysis of past and present, overcoming evil forces that may pose obstacles to the spiritual quest, maintaining physical and mental health, living in harmony with nature so that one may avoid unnecessary troubles caused by ignorance of the laws of nature, avoiding pitfalls of material nature by which one becomes hopelessly entangled in dualities, and other pertinent details to help attain the goal of life.

    Ultimately, the knowledge contained in the vetch hazaria was meant to raise mankind from the animal level of satisfying basic needs such as eating, sleeping, mating and defending to reaching the full potential of human life: pure love of God. This loving propensity can be fully satisfied when it is directed to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and that is the sum and substance of spiritual life. Love occurs between persons because there is a reciprocal relationship. Unless one knows God as a person, the full range of love does not develop and one feels unfulfilled.

    The loving propensity is present in all living entities, especially humans. People are taught to love country, family or oneself, but they lack the knowledge where and how to direct their loving propensity so that everyone can become happy. The basic principle of love is that both the lover and the beloved become happy by their mutual exchanges of service. From birth, the child learns to love his parents, then his brothers and sisters. As he grows up, he begins to love his family, society, community, country, nation, and continues to increase his circle of love to include the whole of humanity.

    The loving propensity of the individual is so expansive that even by loving the whole of humanity, the potential of love is still not fulfilled because the ultimate object of love has not been reached. The eternal personal God or Lord Krishna, the all-attractive One who possesses all beauty, fame, knowledge, wealth, power and renunciation, is the ultimate person we seek to love. Our consciousness attains the unlimited realm of eternal love when it connects to Krishna who is the origin of all existence.

    The original Vetch Hazaria text was a text of superior spiritual knowledge that could guide a person to ultimate liberation from the cycle of birth and death. It guided the way back to the spiritual world of eternal life through love and devotion to God. The Vetch Hazaria was a pre-Christian text that had its origins in Vedic History more than 6000 years ago. The Vedic history in contrast to Christian history goes back hundreds of millions of years as I explained in a previous posting entitled Curse on the Armenian People.

    The Caucasian area was inhabited during the Vedic period. In fact, the Caspian sea is named after the great Vedic sage Kasyapa Muni. His ashram or spiritual abode was located in the Caucasian area. Kasyapa Muni fathered many different human races as well as many other species of life with his wives. He married the thirteen daughters of Prajapati Daksha (Aditi, Diti, Kadru, Danu, Arishta, Surasa, Surabhi, Vinata, Tamra, Krodhava??, Ida, Khasa and Muni.) Kasyapa fathered the devas, heavenly demigods; asuras, demonic races; danas, mixed races of devas and demons; and many other species that included birds, reptiles, insects, etc.

    One son of Kasyapa with his wife Aditi was the incarnation of God, Vamana deva who appeared as a dwarf brahmana. The history of Vamana deva is very instructive if we want to understand the path to liberation from the cycle of birth and death. It can also reveal why the Vetch Hazaria was kept somewhat secretive by being taught by oral reception rather than widely published written form. The transmission of knowledge from teacher or guru to disciple requires specific qualification of both. The guru must be above any material contamination of lust, anger, greed, envy, madness or illusion. The disciple must be submissive to the guru in order to hear the knowledge properly as well as offer humble service and ask important questions. When the guru and the disciple are both qualified, then the knowledge is passed from one to the other without any adulteration and the goal of achieving love of God is achieved.

    In ancient times there was a powerful king of the asuras or demons whose name was Bali Maharaja. His guru was Sukracarya. Bali was an obedient disciple of Sukracarya who taught him to regularly give in charity to brahmanas in order to secure his own well-being and prosperity. Sukracarya also correctly instructed Bali that the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices, penances and charity is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna who is also known as Lord Vishnu.

    Bali was an obedient disciple of his guru Sukracarya, who taught him to give in charity to brahmana priests in order to secure his own well-being and prosperity. Although Sukracarya was a spiritual teacher, he was still interested in material profit and personal gain. Nevertheless, Sukracarya instructed Bali that the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices, penances and charity is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna who is also known as Lord Vishnu. He taught the truth, but followed it for personal benefit.

    There was a profound difference between the behavior of Bali Maharaja and his spiritual master. Bali developed love for God because he was previously instructed by his grandfather Prahlad Maharaja in the principles of pure love free of any personal material motive. Sukracarya, however, was merely a priest of routine rituals who had not developed his service for God out of love because he was attached to material benefits for his family.

    One day, when Krishna appeared before Bali for charity disguised as a dwarf Brahman named Vamana, Bali was ready to give Him anything He wanted. But, Sukracarya instructed Bali not to give anything to the dwarf incarnation who Sukracarya claimed would take away his kingdom and acquired wealth. Bali hesitated because he realized Sukracarya was contradicting the teaching of the scriptures (Vedas) and the principles of pure devotion he learned from his grandfather. Normally a disciple should obey the order of his spiritual master. Bali, however, realized that his teacher deviated from his duty as a spiritual teacher, which is to take the disciple back to Godhead. If the teacher is unable to do so and instead obstructs the disciple, he should be rejected. The goal of life is to surrender completely to the will of God and serve Him with pure love and devotion. Thus, one is freed from the cycle of birth and death and returns to God.

    Sukracarya put forward a materialistic argument to dissuade Bali from offering charity to Vamana. He explained that one’s material means of livelihood and one’s reputation, sense gratification, and economic development must continue properly. A married man must consider this to be his first duty in life especially if he wants to be successful in material affairs. Sukracarya emphasized that if a religious principle or duty does not affect one’s material condition, it can be accepted and followed. This is a classic materialistic concept prominent even today. People are reluctant to accept a religious principle or duty if it hampers their material prosperity.

    Bali was attracted by the beauty and humility of the dwarf incarnation of God Vamana. When Vamana approached Bali for charity, Bali immediately promised to give Him anything He wanted and gave a list of possible choices. Vamana refused any of the offers Bali made. However, he asked for three steps of Bali’s kingdom. Since Vamana was a dwarf, Bali thought He was asking for too little. How much land could a dwarf cover with his small steps? However, Sukracarya cautioned Bali that the dwarf was actually an incarnation of God who could easily extend his dwarf legs to cover the entire universe with only two steps and thus deprive Bali of everything he possessed. Then Bali would not be able to fulfill his promise of giving three steps to Vamana and thus he would be condemned to suffer.

    Sukracarya used his extraordinary talents to convince Bali to renege on his promise to Vamana. Since Sukracarya was an expert in Vedic knowledge, he began to quote selected verses to persuade Bali not to give anything in charity to Vamana. He demonstrated the pernicious technique of cleverly using spiritual knowledge to further one’s personal material motives. It was difficult for an untrained person to recognize that Sukracarya was actually misleading one from following correctly the spiritual path. Fortunately, Bali had received previous instruction from his illustrious grandfather Prahlad. Therefore, he was able to detect the sophistry in Sukracarya’s presentation. After careful reflection, Bali rejected his guru’s order to refuse giving in charity to Vamana.

    Sukracaraya became extremely angry at his disciple, Bali. He cursed him to lose everything he had. Actually this curse was a blessing for Bali. He was so successful that he developed the concept that he was the ruler of the entire universe and that it belonged to him. The truth, however, is that everything in creation belongs to God including our individual body, mind, words, senses, the powers of perception, the objects of perception, absolutely everything. Although Bali was a devotee of the Lord, he was attached to material possessions. The Lord appeared as the dwarf Vamana to show his special favor to Bali by taking away all his material possessions including his body, mind and senses. When Bali realized his folly of misconception, he completely surrendered everything to Vamana including his vast kingdom, his own body, mind and intelligence.

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