1772: Sivartha's father, my great great great grandfather,
Ram Mohun Roy,
was born in Bengal at the foot of the Himalayas in
1772 into an inter-faith household.
His father's family followed the Vedas and
his mother's family worshiped the Mother Goddess.
He is sometimes called the father of Modern India for
being the first person to apply the principles of
American Democracy in British occupied Indian society.
He was also the first person to translate the New
Testament into Bengali, created the first
non-sectarian non-caste based religion in India, and
he earned the ire of his contempories by being the
first person to translate the Vedas out of Sanskrit
and into a modern language, thus opening the Vedas to
1830s: Near the end of his long life, he was given the
title Rajah by the titular King of Delhi and sent to England
to renegotiate their contract with the Bombay Trading
Company. Evidently while staying with some Unitarian
friends, and shortly before he passed away, he knocked
up one of the ladies of the house. ;-} Eight months
after his death in 1833, she had a son who was
undeniably half Indian. We know nothing about her
identity; only her last name which she gave to her
son, Arthur Merton, MD. At an early age he immigrated
to the States.
1860s: Some kind of Awakening occured to him in 1859
and he began to pen The Book of Life under
the name Alesha Sivartha. While little known now,
during his lifetime he traveled the same lecture
circuit as Emerson and Thoreau, and Mark Twain was a
regular visitor in
Sivartha's retirment home on the Kansas prairie.
He is most famous for his
fascinating anatomy drawings which fill the book. He
is also known for being the first person to map out
the New Jerusalem based upon the numbers given in the
Book of Revelations.
1975: As a kid, I saw The Book once, when I first
visited my paternal grandmother in rural Kansas at age
12. She excited my imagination with tales of our
family history, begining my life long love of
1982: I did meth and fried my brain. I got
lost in the nether regions for several years, and while there I obsessed
on the Apocalypse, identifying myself as the Beast of
the Sea. It was a dark and scary time inside the
recesses of my mind. I remembered The Book of Life and
fantasized that Alesha Sivartha was the reincarnation
of his father Ram Mohan Roy, carrying on the same
tasks and writing on the same topics. In fact, I still do.
Ever since that time, I
have believed that I am of the same mind-stream as
these two ancestors. Past lives, perhaps; serving the
same function in our families and in society,
definitely. Even so, long ago I set aside this
"fantasy" and attributed the occassional thought
to an over active imagination.
2004: A rare books publishing company reprinted
Sivartha's 7th, final and largest edition of
The Book of Life: The Spiritual and Social
Constitution of Man 1912.
2005: Discover the reprint at Amazon.com in May 2005.
Order and read much of it. At first it was
difficult to penetrate, but then I began with a
chapter that appealed to me and slowly his thinking
pattern opened like a lotus. I began having memories
of my younger craziness and realized that the bulk of
my schizophrenia (in the early 80s) was a channeling
of this very Book, albeit through a very colored and
tarnished lens. Each chapter of The Book is one of my
favorite subjects. It is a strange sensation. Thus I
decided that I now need to write an online commentary on
it in the form of conversations with Sivartha, my
I am still not sold on the idea of
transmigration, of a soul migrating from lifetime to
lifetime, even though I can feel it with every
cell in this temporary body. It would be a crushing
blow to the Ego, indeed, for such worthy personages
to wind up a person like me....
Many times I have pondered the idea that if, as the
13th century Buddhist monk Nichiren also taught, if there is always a
physical and spiritual counterpart, then the karmic
storehouse is likely to be found in our DNA.
Perhaps this is more than simply inheriting the
effects of the causes made by our Ancestors.
This website, Whispers with Sivartha, is a toying with this idea. As a person what has practiced many types of meditations, I am not convinced that all Paths lead to the same Source, as the Rajah was apparently convinced. Perhaps in the End, I do not know. My experience has shown me that different prayers and meditations produce different results. In this regard, this site is a product of the following meditation:
As I lay myself down to sleep, I visualize my DNA in the shape of a spiral staircase. Each step, each strand, a chord in my consciousness, all aspects of who "I" am. I strum the Harp to Discover the string which is the Sivartha within. Then spend my dreams plummeting The Book of Life, pondering his Original intentions and its possible 21st century applications, to occassionally spill out my fingers and onto this website. Perhaps, just perhaps, the Ancestors can Whisper in our inner ears because they are our Blood and Bones.
--Don Ross. June 2005.