We recently had some visitors from Canada. Our long time good friend and officiating priest at many of our ceremonies Kandaswamy Gurukkal and two other priests, Bhanu Prakash, Surja Prakash. Here they discuss the on-going work to preserve and bring forward our Saiva Agamas.
Each year around this time we design and produce something that captures Gurudeva's amazing life and teachings. Past years it was a calendar, or a DVD, a Spiritual Toolbox or Power of Affirmation.
This year we are creating a 100-page booklet that shares 14 of the major visions in Gurudeva's life. Here he is seen in Jalani caves in Sri Lanka, where a python slithered across his lap during a deep meditation.
Below in his own words are excerpts from this booklet.
"It was in Denver, the mile-high city in the Rocky Mountains, that the commentaries (to Cognizantability) were written, seven years after the aphorisms were revealed. My external mind was learning to fully accept superconscious knowing, and the deeper inner mind was actively making itself the knower of the known. Oddly enough, one day the inner said to the outer mind to number each aphorism, which are now Sections One and Two of Cognizantability, and place them all face down on the floor. I obediently did this."
"Then, one after another, the commentaries were revealed, three words at a time with a significant pause between. The superconscious would dictate word by word to the conscious mind to be written down."
"Amazingly, it proceeded to dictate the commentary to number seven, then number fourteen, and so on. When all were done, the natural impulse urged me to turn over the aphorisms that were still face down on the floor with a number on the back to see if the commentary matched the aphorism. It did! They all did! Truly, I became a more dedicated believer in the jnana marga, the aftermath of experiencing the beyond of the beyond of the beyond, which we call Parasiva, the fulfillment of the yoga marga."
"As the years passed by, one after another, this procedure of bringing unrehearsed wisdom through from the higher mind to the external became a natural part of my daily life, "one of the tools of the trade,'' I have often said. These psychic powers sometimes take years to develop. But under the right circumstances those carried over from a previous incarnation come immediately, of course, and are as much available as the ability to speak, listen and feel."
It literally means "tree in a tray" and the Egyptians were cultivating trees in containers as far back as 4000bce.
In our still-being-landscaped Rishi Valley, not far from Iraivan Temple, five new bonsai plants have been established. There they are, on the posts.
They are of different species, and have been displayed in the traditional Japanese manner near the new Lotus Pond.
Some are pines, some banyans and one is, more on that in a moment…
First, meet the Bonsai Sensei, Tandu Sivanathan.
Tandu has been a student of the ancient art for many years, and was inspired to bring some of his creations to the monastery, as permanent residents.
Near the Rishi Valley Falls,
he has placed them, including this 300-year-old Buttonwood. Imagine, for three centuries one person and then another has been nurturing, shaping and caring for this little marvel.
Elsewhere in the garden grows this rare and distinctive Philodendron gigantea variegata.
Within our Saiva Siddhanta Holy Scriptures the Saiva Agamas explain the basis of temple ceremonies and worship plus yoga and jnana. The Tirukural was considered by Gurudeva to be "the most accessible and relevant sacred text." In it are practical and helpful guidelines for our conduct in every day life. The point of family life is to gain steady improvement, forever, in self control in the midst of responsibilities in the fulfillment of family dharma. Meanwhile, not taking detachment too far but taking it in the sense of spiritually looking for happiness, not outside in other people or possessions, the world, but inside ourselves and then sharing it with family and friends. "We regard the writings of our satgurus as scripture."
Path to Siva, Lesson 20
Tirukural, Introduction and Contents
Tirukural, Chapter 15 Possession of Self-Control
"The temple enables us to feel the presence of God, Gods and devas." We use our inner eyes to see what's going on in the temple, the three worlds. In the temple we're being good dvaitists in the dimfi perspective, focused in bhakti upon God Siva. In meditation we're monists, in the shumif perspective. We claim our oneness with Siva, Sivoham, I am Siva. In surrender, shrinking the ego through devotion, we have a realization that we're not the doer, that Siva is doing it all. Siva's energy comes through our soul.