Today begins the five days of Pancha Ganapati, the festival that brings joy and light to all. From "Loving Ganesha" we bring you Gurudeva's insights into the varied and vibrant potencies of our most popular Deity. We focus on the first of His shaktis.
"COME, NOW LET US TURN OUR HEARTS AND MINDS to the five powers of Lord Ganesha. Devotees have asked for elucidation of the five profound ways this Great God functions in helping us from the inner worlds. For many Hindus in both the East and the West it is this understanding of the five powerful positive powers, or shaktis, of Lord Ganesha and their five powerful asuriccounterforces that makes religion a working part of the devotee's life and a stabilizing force within the extended family -- which embraces kindred, friends, community elders and close business associates. This knowledge and practical experience has helped them understand just how intimately Lord Ganesha works with each of us every day in even our mundane life.
There are five great shaktis of Lord Ganesha, as He Himself explained. Their positive vibratory rates can be felt through your astral and physical body and should always be with you. "What is this shakti?" you may be wondering. It is being in the presence of Divinity. All holy men and women emanate all of these shaktis, and you can, too, some stronger than others. Shakti is divine radiation from the Third World through the Second World into the First. The astral body is in the Second World and lives inside the physical body. It is through the astral body that shakti is felt. The shakti comes from the Third World and permeates the astral body in the Second World. This is why the physical body sometimes seems to feel "filled up" with shakti from deep within, permeating out to the inside of our skin. Deeply awakened souls become so filled with the shakti of the Divine that it permeates as cosmic rays out through the skin to the perimeter of the aura, the colorful film of light that surrounds the body. It is felt by other people and attributed as a personal darshana.
Thus it can be said that Lord Ganesha has five aspects to His presence. Feeling the presence of the benevolent and beneficent Deity Ganesha everywhere is the exemplary example of what each soul wishes to attain. His five powers could well be called "the feet of the Lord," for it is at these feet that we sit and worship, bringing harmony to our home, among our relatives and friends and business associates, bringing culture, creativity and religion into our life. Crowned by a heartfelt love of God that we then give forth, we are then allowed to perform charities and, in overflowing abundance, prepare the religious edifices for the next generation. Experiencing this personally will take daily meditation.
THE FIRST SHAKTI
The first shakti emanates the feeling of love and compassion that the good person naturally has for his or her immediate family. Love and harmony within the nuclear or joint family is most important to all Hindus, and the beautiful feeling when it exists is the first shakti of the Lord. If love abounds in the home and virtue prevails, the home is perfect and its end fulfilled."
Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas: "The Difference in Practice of Theism and Monism" (September 3, 2014)
During a puja we're in Theism, to receive the blessings of the Deity. After a puja we can go within our self in meditation, giving up the idea of an external Deity, Monism. Monistic Theism: Advaita Ishvaravada. Advaita means the Monism; Ishvara means the Theism.
In Shum we use two words that relate to that: shumif and dimfi. First, perfect your Theism. Then become a monist. That's called Saiva Siddhanta; one leads to the other.