Bodhinatha, Yoginathaswami and Sadhaka Satyanatha are in California, where Bodhinatha is leading a retreat for church members and students. We are nestled among giant redwood trees, in a Buddhist monastery which rents its facilities for events. A few Buddhist monks and nuns walk around quietly, greeting the Hindu monks and celebrating our common heritage with kind words. Daily, without fail, they perform an hour-long puja in Tibetan, a relative of Sanskrit. Read more about the Land of Medicine Buddha here.
Being with the guru is always a moment when we, in devotion, meet our own divine potential.
Blessings come first, classes later. Bhakti, or devotion, mellows the sharp edges of the intellect and allows us to reach for superconsciousness.
The day is flowing smoothly with blessings we invoked with a strong Siva puja this morning. Yoginathaswami performed a full abhishekam to a sphatika Sivalingam and included special mudras and mantras specific to Saivite worship.
All is going wonderfully well. A remarkably intelligent and devoted group of students are delighted with Bodhinatha's brilliant analogies, which allow them to easily grasp lofty spiritual concepts; his well-honed teaching skills keep them engaged for the long classes suffused with profound topics and intriguing mysticism.
The manager of the retreat center said a few interesting words to us this morning. She expressed, "I came earlier to talk to you, but there was so much laughter and joy coming from the room that I did not want to come and interrupt. And now that I am finally here to tell you the guidelines of this place, I feel that I don't even need to say them. Your group will honor this place as much as we do. Thank you for coming and bringing blessings."
Students and monks alike are happy to be here at Bodhinatha's feet, listening to his wisdom and Gurudeva's insights.
The challenge, of course, is to put them into practice. As Bodhinatha said today, "Understanding someone else's wisdom does not make one wise."
Stay tuned for more reports in the next few days.
Aum Namah Sivaya.
One Response to “Bodhinatha's Classes in California, Day 1”
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.