by Michael Ketterhagen
All night, all day, angels a’watchin’ over me, O Lord!
All night, all day, angel keep watchin’ over me.
--Negro (Black Slave) Spiritual
“Angels” permeate our world!
Every religion and spiritual tradition has a belief in angels—
In the Native American Tradition, there is not only a belief in the Great Spirit, but the spirit that lives in all living creatures—animals, plants, even rocks. Everything is alive with the presence of the Great Spirit. Aboriginal people thank the spirit of the deer or the source of food before they kill it.
In the Jewish Kabbalist tradition that operated during the time of Jesus of Nazareth, the Essenes would pray every morning to the Spirit of Water or the Spirit of the Sun, asking the angel of each of the elements of the planet to be kind and merciful to them.
The Sufi Tradition mechanic would pray to the spirit of the automobile that he was fixing to help him find the cause of the mechanical malfunction. These mystical Muslim practitioners knew that they were surrounded by the invisible beings who were doing the work of the benevolent Transcendent God, Allah.
In Christianity, many of us were taught to pray to our Guardian Angel before we went to sleep. Catholic and Orthodox Christian pray to saints and angels to help and protect them during their daily routines.
Is all this just silliness?
Most of the Western scientific world thinks that all this “angel talk” is just superstition or mental fantasis that humans use to make themselves feel safe and secure.
The scientific world of the Yoga Tradition, especially the Tantric Sri Vidya
Tradition of Yoga, knows that angels exist. Sri Vidya, which is the tradition of direct experiential knowledge of the invisible realities of the universe, know that the specific forces of nature and the specific, spiritual dimensions of reality, are conscious life forms that humans can experience. Yoga does not call these forces angels, but calls them “shaktis,” which means powers. Yoga also believes that these shaktis, like the power to breathe, the power of fire, the power of thinking and discerning, even fiery power of our digestive juices are all conscious shaktis. They know what they are doing and they are grateful to us when we bless them and thank them. These powers, or so-called “angels,” are always with us, always watching over us.
Some yogis even talk about these shaktis as though they had “personalities.” They call them “jatavedas.” They act like the Christian, Jewish, or Sufi angels. They protect and care for us without us even asking them to do so. They are watching over us – all night and all day! While we sleep! While we eat! While we do anything!
Yoga would say that these are the “angels a’ watchin’ over” us.