Take a moment and ponder a natural wonder--the extraordinary metamorphosis of a delicate flower bud into a delicious mango, a drop of water splintering into tetrahedral-matrixed snowflakes or bits of coral sand seamlessly spun into a seashell. The choice is yours, and the possibilities are endless. Approach your contemplation with sincerity, and at least a little devotion, and you will begin to sense the innate intelligence in the miracles of nature we rarely take time to notice.
What you may see or detect the workings of is the world of nature spirits, devasor adhibautasin Sanskrit--a giant kingdom of beings subtler-than-physical. Every indigenous culture knows about them. Residing within the odic/causal energy substratum of life, these devasassume forms and functions as vast and awesome as the physical forms that surround us. Some potent, others petite, they explode star clusters, move ocean tides and make perfume in jasmine flowers. Others, like yakshis,nymphs, live in forests and permeate the woodlands with that spine-tingling feeling of freshness and healing that so thrills humans.
These nature devasare not remote. They are close, aware of our presence and even our thoughts. An important aspect of rita dharma,universal law, is to mold one's thoughts, words and deeds to be in harmony with the abode of devas(Devaloka), as well as the abode of Gods (Brahmaloka). For rural villagers, tribals and others close to the land, there is no other way to live. A perfect modern example is Vishnu Maya Gurung [see front page article]. A respected elder in her Nepalese village (now deceased), the Deities were as near and dear to her as closest kin.
The devasserve all of humanity. In the West, as in the East, communications from devashave been received and recorded. In modern times, the world of nature spirits has perhaps never been unveiled with so much force and fact as at Findhorn, Scotland. Here, in brief, is their story.
Peter Caddy, an ex-senior officer in the Royal Air Force, his wife Eileen, their three sons and Dorothy, a colleague, had long been engaged in metaphysical studies and meditation. One surprising snowy November day in 1962, they found themselves out of work. Undaunted, they meditated and waited for divine guidance. It came. "Guidance told us to not only live in the moment, but to enjoy it!" Peter recalls. "We were told that Findhorn would be of importance to the world, that there was a plan behind it."
The next thing they knew, Dorothy had bumped into a plant spirit in her meditation, a pea devaeager to help Peter in his garden. "We knew the devasto be that part of the angelic hierarchy that holds the archetypal pattern for each plant species and direct energy toward bringing a plant into form on the physical plane," Peter said. "Now here was this Pea Deva offering to help us!" The devatold Peter everything, from how far apart various plants like to be to how they dislike getting transplanted. Soon the garden became incredibly productive. One huge vegetable weighed 42 lbs. A broccoli head was so big it fed the group of six for four months! Then Eileen received messages from "God within" reminding her that Findhorn was just not about gardening and growing giant vegetables! Findhorn was about providing the world a model of "cooperation" between the plant and human kingdoms. "True cooperation begins when we realize that man, the devasand nature spirits are part of the same life-force creating together," Peter said.
After the sweet pea devabroke the ice, everybody jumped in--Tibetan blue-poppy deva, rose deva, rain deva and more expansive landscape and ocean devas. With every message, whether about pruning or "attuning," there came the sweetest brother/sister love. Over the years, they grew into a healthy and harmonious spiritual community and published the world's single most powerful collection of nature-spirit messages in three books: Findhorn Garden, The Magic of Findhornand The Spirit of Findhorn,published by Harper and Row.
But this intimate inner relationship was not sustained. We learned years later, when Peter Caddy (now deceased) visited Hinduism Today's offices, that "hippies" had moved into Findhorn (now called Findhorn Foundation). Caddy lamented that the standards of living and harmony were not maintained. As a result, the devasmoved out and asurasnaturally moved in--the vegetables shrunk back to normal size. Caddy said he had been told he was no longer a part of the community.
Findhorn proves how we can work closely with the devas, and also how delicate and precious such a connection to their world is. Constant effort and sacrifice is needed to sustain it. It is no different from keeping a vibration of harmony and love within the home. If maintained consistently, devascan come home with you from the temple and stay at your home shrine to help, bless and gently guide your family. If disharmony and contention are allowed to prevail, they have no choice but to withdraw.
University professor Puvaneswary lives in Aberdeen, not far from Findhorn Foundation. After reading the book to her children last August, she visited Findhorn. She recounts, "It was a hazy, warm day. People from all over the world were there, calm and peaceful. I learned that Roc, the mystic who met and talked to the God Pan, had died. So had Peter Caddy. Dorothy only visits occasionally. I learned that a child there still talks to the devas but is too shy to discuss it. When I got home, I set up a small section of my own garden for the devas to live and work in undisturbed and recently noticed a faint, facial expression on a plant called senecio grey. I was sure it was a deva taking the shape of the plant, as they can do so easily, being made out of light.
My friends and relatives too have had nature devaexperiences. One friend, when she was a girl, used to play with fairies who lived in the cups of flowers. Another Hindu friend was pained one day when she saw a man chainsaw down a giant old oak tree that all the neighborhood children used to love to climb and play in. That night the tree devacame to her, so sad his "home" was destroyed, not knowing where to go. My Taoist cousin told me that one day, when she was staring out the window at a weeping willow tree, the Chinese Goddess Quan Yin appeared inside the tree--her silken tresses and the willow branches were one. Even my own daughter when she was little used to talk to me about her invisible friends."
Yes, nature devascan talk. When they do, it is always with great love and intelligence. Dorothy Maclean (left), one of the Findhorn "settlers," and friend "Roc" (right) received messages from nature devas in meditation. Roc saw elementals clairvoyantly, even conversed at length with them, including the legendary woodlands God, Pan. Here are a few communications they published in the book Findhorn Garden,along with a few from Hindu tradition.
I and my subjects are willing to come to the aid of mankind in spite of the way he has treated us and abused nature, if he affirms belief in us and asks for our help.
--Pan, God of the elementals
The elemental and devic worlds are far more powerful than the human kingdom at the present time, for they are still within attunement to the energies of God. God is not only the God of human beings. He is the Lord and Lover, Creator and the Nourisher, the Seed, the Promise and the fulfillment of all forms of nature and of the earth and of the cosmos, and beyond. To see this, you must attempt to see with His vision, know with His love, live with His life. It is as simple as that. Not a complex pattern.
Just tune into nature until you feel the love flow. That is your arrow into the deva world.
There are no individual egos with us; when you love one beech tree, for example, you love all beech trees, connected with the whole genus of beech. If the human kingdom could learn this quality it would mean the end of war and rivalry, competition and strife.
Let each garden be different and unique as is each soul. Man's trend should be to unity, not uniformity. Each to his own talent.
--Tibetan blue poppy deva
Today man manipulates the plant world for his own selfish purposes, treating it in the same commercial way as he does car components. You get better results from a child if you use love, not force. Although force may bring quicker results, it starts a chain reaction of other [negative] effects.
Man is beginning to realize how much forests are needed by the planet. But he covers acres with one quick-growing species, selecting trees for economic reasons. This shows utter ignorance of the purpose of trees and their channeling of diverse forces. At present the planet needs more than ever just what is being denied it--the very forces which come through the large and stately trees.
--Monterrey cypress deva
Happiness has an especially good effect on plants, as do children at play. The greenhouse is invaluable. However, plastic frames cut out valuable rays.
As with your bodies, we are the result of millions of years of evolving patterns. Imagine the effect of an atomic bomb on our volatile media after aeons of ordered perfection!
--Spirit of the wind
Humans! Never content with their lot but always wanting to be as good or better than their neighbors. Comparison seems to us a noxious thing. God made each of us and each of you as we are, to be a particular expression of life.
--Good King Henry deva
What an integral part of the planet I am--longed for and hated, fierce and gentle. I am part of all living things, even your physical self. If you would rule us, first rule yourself, your own tempestuous nature and arid outlook.
Man is destroying himself because he thinks he is separate. How can you possibly not know that when the wind blows it is part of you, that the sun is part of you with each sunbeam? How can you be so dense as not to know that if one suffers, the whole consciousness of the earth partakes of that?
--Lord of the elements
Trees serve as homes for visiting devas who do not manifest in earthly bodies, but live in the fibers of the trunks and larger branches of the trees, feed from the leaves and communicate through the tree itself. Some are permanently stationed as guardians of sacred places.
--Hindu Deva Shastra, verse 117
In our gardens, Lord Ganesha sends His power through fruits and vegetables, the ones that grow above the ground, to permeate our nerve system with wisdom, clearing obstacles in our path when eaten. The growers of them treat it like they would care for Ganesha in His physical form.
--Hindu Deva Shastra, verse 438
As the cow and goat, as well as the herb, the tree and the vegetation, can read the thoughts of us all, chanting and singing should occur while tending to their needs.
--Hindu Deva Shastra, verse 439