During Jivana Ritau, the rainy season, from mid-August to mid-December, Living with Siva: Hinduism’s Contemporary Culture is the primary text. The key word of this season is work. The colors are rust, copper-maroon and all shades of red--rust for earthy preservation, copper-maroon for fulfillment and red for physical energy. The Aadheenam’s 60-foot flag pole flies the rust-colored dhvaja, symbolizing environmental care. Copper-maroon and all shades of red adorn our smaller flags. This is the season of honoring and showing appreciation for those in the vanaprastha ashrama, life’s elder advisor stage.
The focus is on preserving what has been created, manifesting goals and fulfilling plans made in the past. Inwardly the emphasis is on direct cognition and caring for the practical details of the external world. Practicality is a word much used this season. In the monasteries and the missions, there is a big push on studying the sutras of Living with Siva and the Shastras. The format of the mission satsanga changes into one that in fact helps everyone live and breathe with Lord Siva through personal adjustment to the aphorisms of Living with Siva, which define tradition, culture and protocol.
At some point of time, whether in their current life or in a future one, everyone starts to figure it out. The endless ramifications of this external world begin to lose their shiny draw. The many many paths one could take become less interesting, because most have been walked before. You've eaten all types of food, owned all kinds of homes, large and small and have been every kind of person, the drunkard and the greatest of kings. You've had all relationships, been a wife, a husband, child, brother, sister and more. You've walked to every mountaintop, swam in every sea and river. you've laid down upon the shady grasses, walked through the pristine snow, and looked up through the treetops. You've felt pain, hunger, hatred, betrayal and death, again and again you've suffered yourself. You've been joyous, excited for the future and humbled by life's beauty. You've won victories and sustained losses, you've seen good and bad, bright light and shadows. You've known the freedom to dance, and the fearlessness of your singing voice--self-expressions you'll love forever. You've laughed with friends, giggled with loved ones. Upon your Earth you've seen the stars unveiled as the world begins to sleep, and you've awoken, inspired by the dauntless warmth of the rising Sun.
Again and again you are born, you live and you pass on, to live again. Until, it is suddenly not so interesting anymore. The ups and downs of life are not the fun ride they used to be. They're not much of anything really. They begin to fade from your vision, as something else takes their place. Something you did not expect. An understanding bigger than most people know. Broader, deeper, all-encompassing and so very, very real. Like nothing else you've seen, and yet you recognize it. Losing interest in the World around you, you begin to take interest in yourself, realizing that the external is painted by your personal thoughts, feeling and attitudes. But these inner layers of the mind are still not the ultimate discovery. If you were you're attitudes and emotions then how could you be thinking about them. And if you can witness your thoughts, what is it that is observing them? Find that.
Today was the auspicious occasion for Archana and Divyesh Pillay, who took their Brahmacharya Vrata in front of Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami.
This vow of celibacy remains in place until marriage at which point it requires the two to be faithful to their partner. The fundamental reason for observing Brahmacharya before marriage is it creates a stronger, more mature relationship between husband and wife. Those who are promiscuous prior to marriage are susceptible to impulses of anger, have undefined fears, experience jealousy and other instinctive emotions.
Gurudeva explained the mystical reason behind this quite beautifully, he states that, "In virgin boys and girls the psychic nadis, the astral nerve currents that extend out into and through the aura have small hooks on the end. When a boy and girl marry the hooks straighten out and the nadis are tied one to another and they actually grow together. If the first sexual experience is premarital and the virginity is broken, the hooks at the end of the nadis also straighten out but there is nothing to grow on to, if the partners do not marry. Then when either partner marries someone else, the relationship is never as close as when a virgin boy and girl marry because their nadis dont grow together in the same way. In cases such as this, they feel the need for intellectual stimuli and emotional stimuli to keep the marriage going."
For monks and other single individuals intent on pursuing deeper realizations and higher consciousness, Brahmacharya is important for another reason. Gurudeva explains that, "Containing the sacred fluids within the body builds up a bank account through the years that makes the realization of God on the path to enlightenment a reality within the life of the individual who is single. This is called transmutation of the sexual energy. If Brahmacharya is broken through sexual intercourse, this power goes away. Therefore trying to pursue the higher goals of meditation without practicing celibacy, will clearly not lead to success."
A few months ago Paramacharya Sadasivanatha gave a whole lot of thought to what to put in the large blank area on the facade above the guru pitham seat, called simhasana, the holy spot established by Gurudeva as the seat of authority for Kauai Aadheenam, back in the 1970s. It was time for something new. After lots of noodling and discussion, the plan that you will see manifest in this post came to be.
Sivasri Shanmugam Sivacharyar -- son of late Sivasri Sambamurthy Sivacharyar of Kaaligambal Temple, Chennai -- and Sivasri Sundaramurthy Sivacharyar -- principal of the Saiva Agama Pathashala -- came to the monastery recently and paid their respects to the monks. Wonderful conversations were had that detailed future plans for the Iraivan mahakumbhabhishekam and spreading the culture and tradition of Sanskrit to the next generation. These two powerful priests are working with the digitized Agama project and moving that mission forward at their centers.
We thank them profusely for visiting and uplifting us all with their wonderful vibration.