Today is a most auspicious day, it's not only Gurudeva's Jayanti, but also a wonderful day for Brahmachari Girish to make his sacred pledge as a Sivanadiyar. Having already taken the vow of purity, he now takes on two more vows, the vow of Humility and the vow of Confidence. This pledge declares his intention towards a life of monasticism, as he now begins the final process, by which he will ready himself for the life of the Postulant. From the Sacred Pledge:
"The supplicant's foremost objective is to strive for mastery of the charya marga, or path of service. This begins with the avoidance of wrongful actions and the overcoming of base instincts and emotions as he learns to transmute worldliness into the higher states of devotion and selflessness. At this stage on the path, the Saivite devotee is content not to strive for profound spiritual attainments but to work diligently with the faults and flaws that are stumbling blocks on the path, learning at the same time to depend not only on his own resources but on the limitless abilities of the Gods to resolve all difficulties and dissolve all obstacles. The Supplicancy is a time of profound worship of Lord Ganesha, Lord Murugan and Lord Siva and of deepening commitment and service to Saivite Hinduism and to the Church. It is also a time of study, challenge and inner change. The supplicant is encouraged to strive for the perfection of service and for the monastic ideals of humility, industry and responsibility, renouncing personal needs for the benefit of others. In this service, he should strive for transparency, that quality of anonymous virtue in which the premonastic lives in full harmony with others, remaining centered within and not standing out or disturbing the surroundings. It is this ancient tradition of unseen service and unperturbable stability that the supplicant seeks to emulate, realizing that serving in unheralded ways and renouncing the fruits of even good deeds averts the pitfalls of the spiritual ego and nurtures the state of unpretentiousness. By putting great energy into premonastic life and by serving tirelessly for the benefit not of himself but of others, the supplicant opens himself to the inflow of Lord Siva's grace." Aum Namah Sivaya.
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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.