Ardra, Monastic Vows and the Sat Siva Yuga!

Today Lord Nataraja was worshiped with a beautiful abhishekam. And for the first time, instead of declaring it the Kali Yuga, Kaudval temple resounded with the words "Sat Siva Yuge." We have officially acknowledged the passing of one Yuga into the next, of the darkness of the Kali Yuga, into the light of the Sat Yuga. But just as winter gradually melts into spring, this does not mean we are instantly at the heights of evolutionary and planetary perfection, but rather that we are in the middle of two, great overlapping cycles.

And on this very auspcious day, our newest Sadhaka takes his vows. At the same time, all of our postulant Sadhaka renew their two-year vows. Sivanadiyar Girish has pledged himself to uphold the four sacred vows of Humility, Purity, Obedience and Confidence. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami has blessed him and given him a new name. With all of our love and blessings we welcome Sadhaka Dayanatha as the newest monk of the Kailasa Parampara. Aum Namah Sivaya!

The following are excerpts from his four vows, which he read aloud to Bodhinatha and the attending monks:

THE SACRED VOW OF HUMILITY: known in Tamil as PANNIVU

Humility is the state of profound maturity in which the soul, immersed in the depths of understanding and compassion, radiates the qualities of mildness, modesty, reverent obeisance and unpretentiousness. There is an analogy in the Saivite tradition that compares the unfolding soul to wheat. When young and growing, the stalks of wheat stand tall and proud, but when mature their heads bend low under the weight of the grains they yield. Similarly, man is self-assertive, arrogant and vain only in the early stages of his spiritual growth. As he matures and yields the harvest of divine knowledge, he too bends his head. In the Tamil language this absence of pride or self-assertion is known as pannivu. Pannivu also means "jewel." In the Tirukural it is said that "Humility and pleasant words are the jewels that adorn a man; there are none other."

Humility does not consist in concealing our merits and virtues or in thinking ourselves worse or more ordinary than we are. Nor is it a pretended meekness. Rather it lies in not exalting ourselves before others for we perceive the grandeur of God Siva in every human being and reverently acknowledge Him there. Humility in this ideal is the awakened perception that "Siva is All." It is the inner being predominating over the outer nature.

THE SACRED VOW OF PURITY: known in Tamil as TIRIKARANNASUTTI

Purity is the pristine and natural state of the soul. It is not something which the monastic attains as much as that which he already is, and which becomes evident as the layers of adulterating experience and beclouding conceptions are dissipated. Purity is clarity and clearness in all dimensions of being. It is innocence as opposed to familiarity with the ways of the world. It is for monastics the observance of chastity, called brahmacharya. In Tamil purity is given its fullest expression in the term tirikarannasutti, which means "purity in mind, speech and body." These three--also called thought, word and deed--convey the fullness of the ideal of purity.

Purity does not consist in merely doing good and being good, though these are essential, nor is it an outward appearance or show of such goodness. It is primarily an inner quality, equally present in the saint who outwardly reflects the purity of his attainment and in the sage who inwardly rests in that same purity though his attainment may not be apparent. Purity is not a manner of behavior, though it may be reflected in our behavior, and there is no merit in taking on the appearance of being pure when one is not yet pure.

THE SACRED VOW OF OBEDIENCE: known in tamil as TAALVU ENUM TANMAI

Obedience is the state of willingness and cooperation in which the soul remains open and amenable to enlightened direction. For the monastic it is an unbroken pledge of trust in and surrender to the satguru, the guru parampara and the mystic process of spiritual evolution. In the Tamil language this definition of obedience is expressed in the term taalvu enum tanmai, which denotes "the quality or state of humble submission."

Obedience does not consist in blind submission and yielding to authority, nor in weakening our own will that it may be dominated by the will of another. Yet it is, in another sense, submission to a sacred purpose and the divine authority of the Second and Third Worlds. It is, for the monastic, an inner quality that allows him to remain consciously tractable and responsive. In the beginning, while the instinctive nature remains strong and there exists a sense of "I" and "mine," obedience is a surrendering of the ego to the soul or the instinctive nature to the spiritual nature. As long as the ego dominates the life of man, he will experience obedience as capitulation or subjection. As the soul unfolds and separateness is replaced by knowledge of the unity that pervades the universe, obedience is perceived as the union of minds and purpose, a state of harmony so complete that there can exist no distinction between him who gives and him who receives instruction or direction. True obedience is based on agreement, trust and knowledge, as opposed to passive servility, nonresistance or domination, which have ignorance and fear as their basis.

Confidence is the state of trust in which the sacred teachings and sensitive or personal matters are not divulged to others. Spiritual matters must be protected and preserved by those to whom they are entrusted, never wantonly or indiscriminately revealed. When we confide in another, we do so with the assurance that sensitive and serious information will not be inappropriately disclosed. In the Tamil language confidence is known as rahasiyam, meaning "secret or mystery."

Confidence as applied to these Sacred Vows does not mean "certainty," "a belief in one's abilities" or "self-confidence." Rather it is a confiding, a trusting and a relying upon. It is the controlled sharing of privileged teachings or information that should not be disclosed, but held in confidentiality. In its most simple form it is the keeping of a secret.

Confidence for the monastic may be defined as wisdom in handling information. The monastic must learn to hold in strict secrecy all spiritual direction and esoteric laws entrusted to him, never revealing them unless specifically ordained to do so. He must realize the wisdom of Saint Yogaswami's statement that "Sacred is secret and secret is sacred," never treating the inner teachings as ordinary knowledge to be published or spoken of to the public or prematurely disclosed to devotees.

May Yogaswami, Gurudeva, and our entire guru-lineage, steadily guide Dayanatha from this and inner worlds. Jai Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami! Jai Gurudeva!

Aum Namah Sivaya!

Weekly Tour Day Today

More Photos from the July Ganesha Homa

A collection from this month's Ganesha homa in Mauritius. Satguru Bodhinatha, six monks and all of the 2014 Innersearch participants were there to attend. An estimated 8,000 came through the spiritual park that day. Our Guest priests performed the homa while Sadasivanathaswami burned the many thousands of prayers, dumping them into buckets of ghee and piling them upon the fire. As usual, there were so many prayers that the fire burned for the next two days! After the homa, everyone walked to the new peace pole for its unveiling.

A Courtesy Visit to the President

A Special Report from 
Moilavadee Moorghen


During Innersearch, Satguru and his whole delegation paid a courtesy visit to the President of the Mauritian Republic on 9th July 2014.  The group was accompanied by Kulapati Mardemootoo and Kulapati Moorghen along with their respective Kulamatas.  The delegation arrived early at the State House (also known as the Chateau deReduit), the official residence of the President of Mauritius.  They were first taken for a tour in the beautiful gardens of the Chateau with all its exotic flowers and surrounding grounds with a breathless view of the Cascade Reduit.  The Innersearchers were visibly thrilled with this opportunity to visit the State House.  
After the tour, Satguru Bodhinatha and Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami were guided to a small lounge where they were received by His Excellency Mr Rajkeswur Purryag, the 5th President of the Mauritian Republic.  They talked about the Innersearch 2014 which was scheduled from 2nd to 14th July and the participants coming from ten different countries interacting with local devotees in the different activities.  Mr Purryag recalled that someone had told him about the Ganesha Homa that is held in the Spiritual Park, where thousands were consistently  attending  every month.  He promised to visit the Spiritual Park in the near future. He then invited Satguru to move to the Main Hall, where all the Innersearchers and the monks were seated.
The President told everyone that it was good to see people who were more interested to learn about their religion rather than just practicing its rituals.  He remarked that nowadays more and more time, energy and money were spent on carrying out elaborate religious ceremonies.  But people should learn the spiritual side of things.  He talked about the religious teachings of Shakti Swami from Mumbai which has greatly helped him to understand the inner workings of the mind.  He then talked about the family, the core for religious and social life.  There should be harmony between husband and wife and more interaction with the children. Nowadays all the responsibility for educating the children are left to the teachers.  The parents are stepping back from their responsibility.  He recalled how, long ago, his parents used to closely monitor his homework and correct him for any misbehavior.  But  now both parents are working and they don't have much time for the children.   All the core values are slowly being lost.  
The President also talked about the pilgrimage to Grand Bassin for Maha Sivaratree.  He recalled how it all started years back when a devotee had a dream of a sacred lake and the long and arduous walk from the village of Triolet to the central part of the island.  He said that Mauritians are mostly religious people but they lack the spiritual teachings.  He congratulated Satguru and all his monks for the wonderful work they were doing through promoting religious teachings worldwide and also the Innersearchers for their participation in the current programme.
On behalf of Satguru Bodhinatha and all his monks, some gifts were presented to the President by Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami.  It consisted of a copy of The Guru Chronicles book, a Rudraksha mala that had been specially made by the monks from the beads they collected from the rudraksha tree that Gurudeva Sivaya Subrahmuniyaswami had planted in Hawaii, digital of  copies of spiritual teachings, among others.  The visit ended with a photo of the entire group on the steps in front of the Chateau.

Innersearch Final Gala Event

For our final Innersearch night together in Mauritius, we invited our members to join for a Gala Event. Two hundred of us were received by a three-man banjo band in a massive tent set in a garden. Chef Ruben Moothoosawmy, a friend of our own Kulapati Mougam, crafted a menu that would amaze all present. It was his first foray into the world of brown rice and for this's feast he bought the entire islands supply (white still rules here). Dozens of our members sang Natchintanai and bhajan and turned the giant tent into a theater as they offered their Satguru skits on the brahmacharya vrata and yamas. Stories were told, including the tale of Bodhinatha's dramatic adventures as the first Iranian hostage in 1972. The members played a clip of Gurudeva saying "I'll be seeing you..." to cyber cadets in 1999. The monks got a giant applause for a nine-minute film they magically pulled together showing all the major classes, pujas and outings and showcasing the nation's first-ever aerial video of our Spiritual Park. Lots of wows as the Mauritians saw their familiar center from a new perspective. Sadasivanatha coined a new word for the Fictionary from the stage: Maurispatality, defined as "the peerless and sometimes overwhelming hospitality showered by the peoples of Mauritius on one and all, an endless generosity of spirit and care for others." The Innersearchers stood to applaud their hosts and the clapping went on for several minutes. Truly all felt a Sivasambandam, a confluence of Bodhinatha devotees from around the globe. Then a parade winded it's way through the tables, ten Innersearchers carrying large flags of their country. Quite a global statement as all stood to sing the Mauritian national anthem following lyrics on the giant screen. All ran outside when the sky lit up with fireworks to end an evening of fellowship.

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