Today begins the monastery's five-day phase. This phase is crunch time for the Ganapati Kulam's magazine work, as they near completion of the next issue. On Sun 3 Sadasivanathaswami and Arumuganathaswami will be leaving on a short trip to speak at a conference in San Jose, California. This phase the Siddhidata Kulam will be focusing on vehicle maintenance routines, in addition to there regular weekly garden day and daily vegetable and fruit harvest. They will also be doing some cleanup on the Siva Pannai land while the ground is dry. The SK will also be arranging the upcoming roof repair for Bodhinatha's and their office.
Following today's homa, Satguru Bodhinatha gave a wonderful upadesha. He discussed today's lesson from Merging with Siva and unfolded the subtleties related to dealing with our karmas and attachments.
From Lesson 11 from Living with Siva
The first yama is ahimsa, non-injury. To practice ahimsa, one has to practice santosha, contentment. The sadhana is to seek joy and serenity in life, remaining content with what one has, knows, is doing and those with whom he associates. Bear your karma cheerfully. Live within your situation contentedly. Himsa, or injury, and the desire to harm, comes from discontent.
The rishis who revealed the principles of dharma or divine law in Hindu scripture knew full well the potential for human suffering and the path which could avert it. To them a one spiritual power flowed in and through all things in this universe, animate and inanimate, conferring existence by its presence. To them life was a coherent process leading all souls without exception to enlightenment, and no violence could be carried to the higher reaches of that ascent. These rishis were mystics whose revelation disclosed a cosmos in which all beings exist in interlaced dependence. The whole is contained in the part, and the part in the whole. Based on this cognition, they taught a philosophy of nondifference of self and other, asserting that in the final analysis we are not separate from the world and its manifest forms, nor from the Divine which shines forth in all things, all beings, all peoples. From this understanding of oneness arose the philosophical basis for the practice of noninjury and Hinduism's ancient commitment to it.
We all know that Hindus, who are one-sixth of the human race today, believe in the existence of God everywhere, as an all-pervasive, self-effulgent energy and consciousness. This basic belief creates the attitude of sublime tolerance and acceptance toward others. Even tolerance is insufficient to describe the compassion and reverence the Hindu holds for the intrinsic sacredness within all things. Therefore, the actions of all Hindus are rendered benign, or ahimsa. One would not want to hurt something which one revered.
Recently the monastery observed its weekly homa. The sacred fire ceremony is a wonderful way to start off each new phase. The monks and any guests can write notes to the devas, which are burned during the ceremony. The paper then become visible in the inner Lokas for the devas to read and act upon. The act of prayer writing is a very important way to keep communications with the inner worlds strong, creating a smooth and successful flow of projects and personal growth throughout the monastery and in other people's lives. This phase is a short one, of just four days. On Sun 3 the monks have Ashram Sadhana Day, for which their time is spent cleaning the monastery. This coming retreat will be Iraivan Day, when the monks work to mail the aadheenam newsletter, write the next one, as well as create the monthly news video and a variety of other Iraivan, mail-related projects.
"You can go to the top by climbing up step by step. But exceptionally there are some who, with the help of Sruitis, the guru, and their own understanding and experience, can fly like birds." - Yogaswami
Jai Siva Yogaswami!
Today we celebrate Satguru Yogaswami's 50th Mahasamdhi Anniversary. At Kauai Aadheenam, an early morning puja was held to Yogaswami's Murti. The small shrine was beautifully decorated. Monks and local members came with offerings and the puja was performed with intermittent singing of Yogaswami's Natchintanai. All and all it was a beautiful and powerful celebration of this great sage.
On May 29, 1997, the monastery celebrated the 125th Birth Anniversary of Sri Lanka's Sage Yogaswami. After Guru Purnima, in late July, Gurudeva performed the final arati to a 20-inch-tall, gold-leafed, bronze statue of Yogaswami and sent it off on a tour tracing the diaspora of Sri Lankan Tamils throughout the world. He instructed that no plans or schedules should be devised. Everything should unfold according to the inspiration of devotees along the way. In the past 17 years, the tour has traversed half the globe. Moving from Hawaii, through Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver in Canada; then on to Maryland, New York and Los Angeles in the USA before crossing the Atlantic for Europe, spending most of the ensuing decade in Germany. Wonderful pujas and cultural events have greeted the statue of the sage at every stop. Last December, Yogaswami arrived in Colombo to visit groups of devotees across Sri Lanka. Today, on his 50th mahasamadhi, Yogaswami has found his way back to Jaffna.
The following excerpt from The Guru Chronicles presents a glimpse into Yogaswami's teachings:
Whenever people were unduly hard on themselves, undertaking disciplines that were too severe, Swami would stop them. "The body is a temple, the mind is a sanctum. You must keep them pure and clear. You need them to do your work. Do not destroy them or harm them." Turning to a devotee sitting at his feet, he said:
"As you walked into the room, it felt cool and fresh because you are on the path and have begun to feel the presence of the atma. Some people come and I feel hot, and there is no air in the room. That is because they are here to trick me and think they can cheat me out of something. You are searching and have no selfish motives. You come just to sit here. You can feel the same peace from me. That is why you come. It is good for people on the path to sit with one another.
More often than not I feel I am in the presence of God. You must treat that feeling you have of the presence of God as you would a little child. Nurture it. Give it everything it needs. If you see it as a child, you become helpless. You must obey its every wish and do exactly as it bids you. Just as a mother knows in every instance what to do for her child, knows the meaning of its cries and gives it what it needs, so does the Presence make itself felt to the devotee. You must carefully nurture the awareness of God that is growing within you. If you do, it will grow and grow, and without your knowing it, you will have disappeared and only That will be."
Click here to watch a wonderful video Interview about Yogaswami, with Dr. James George, who met Yogaswami on several occasions.
Adoration to the Remover of Obstacles
Written by Auvaiyar Ma
Translated from Tamil by Tiru K. Swaminathan
(From Om Ganesa, the Peace of God)
O king, is there anything unattainable
To them who intensely contemplate
On the fragrant feet of the son
Of Ummaiyal, of sweet and comely speech?
The thunderous thud of the swift elephant
And that of the agile horse must give place
To that of the rider of this old dame!
He is none other than the mighty Mahāgaṇapati.
Cool, fragrant lotus feet
with anklets tinkling sweet,
gold girdle, flower-soft garment
setting off the comely hips,
pot-belly and big, heavy tusk,
elephant-face with the bright red mark,
five hands, the goad, the noose,
blue body dwelling in the heart,
pendulous jaws, four mighty shoulders,
three eyes and the three required marks,
two ears, the gold crown gleaming,
the breast aglow with the triple thread,
O Being, bright and beautiful!
Wish-yielding elephant, born of the
Master of Mystery in Mount Kailasa,
mouse-rider, fond of the three famed fruits,
desiring to make me yours this instant,
you like a mother have appeared before me
and cut the delusion of unending births.
You have come and entered my heart,
imprinting clear the five prime letters,
set foot in the world in the form of a guru,
declared the final truth is this, gladly,
graciously shown the way of life unfading.
With that unfailing weapon, your glance,
you have put an end to my heinous sins,
poured in my ear uncloying precepts,
laid bare for me the clarity
of ever-fresh awareness,
sweetly given me your sweet grace
for firm control of the senses five,
taught how to still the organs of action;
snapped my two-fold karma and dispelled
my darkness, giving, out of grace,
a place for me in all four states;
dissolved the illusion of triple filth,
taught me how to shut the five
sense gates of the nine-door temple,
fixed me firm in the six yogic centers,
stilled my speech, taught me
the writ of ida and pingala,
shown me at last the head of sushumna.
To the tongue of the serpent that sinks and soars
you have brought the force sustaining the three
bright spheres of sun, moon and fire--
the mantra unspoken asleep in the snake--
and explicitly uttered it;
imparted the skill of raising by breath
the raging flame of muladhara;
explained the secret of immortality,
the sun's movement and the charm
of the moon; the water lily's friend,
the sixteen states of the prasada mantra;
revealed to me in thoughtful wisdom
the six-faced form and the meanings four;
disclosed to me the subtle body
and the eight separate modes of being;
the orifice of Brahman opened,
giving me miraculous powers,
by your sweet grace, and mukti, too;
revealed my Self to me and by your grace
swept away accumulated karma,
stilled my mind in tranquil calm
beyond speech and thought;
clarified my intellect, plunged me
in bliss which is the common ground
of light and darkness.
Boundless beatitude you have given me,
ended all affliction, shown the way of grace:
Siva eternal at the core of sound,
Sivalinga within the heart,
atom within atom, vast beyond all vastness,
sweetness hid in the hardened node.
You have steadied me clear in human form
all besmeared with holy ashes;
added me to the congregation
of your servants true and trusty;
made me experience in my heart
the inmost meaning of the five letters;
restored my real state to me;
and rule me now, O Master of Wisdom,
Vinayaka. Your feet alone,
O Master of Wisdom, Vinayaka,
your feet alone, are my sole refuge.
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.