The soul body plus the essence of the soul, Parashakti and Parasiva, together equals the totality of the soul. The essence of the soul is being Siva and the soul body is becoming Siva. The soul body is maturing, growing. We suffer until we learn to control our body, mind and emotions achieving imperturbability even if we find out the world is going to end tomorrow. Calmness is a platform for meditation.
The modern self-designation "Spiritual But Not Religious" is like a scientist who says he is going to figure it all out by himself. You are not likely to get very far. To progress, follow a well documented religious path.
Path to Siva; Lesson 2.
Good morning everyone.
This is Lesson Two of Path to Siva.
"Where am I going? What is my path?
"Life has a purpose. We have taken this birth in a physical body to mature into our divine potential. This life is just one more chapter in a maturing process that has been occurring over many lives. All souls are on this same journey. The deepest part of our soul, our essence, is and has always been one with Siva, but our soul body is still maturing. We are like a tiny acorn growing into a mighty oak tree. We grow by learning to control our mind, body and emotions. The stronger we get, the more we sense our Sivaness. At first we learn from our suffering to avoid more suffering. (Sounds good right? Don't need any more suffering.) At first we learn from our suffering to avoid more suffering. We turn fear into fearlessness, anger into love and conflict into peace. We then learn to serve. Selfless service is the beginning of spiritual striving. Through our selfless service, we come into a deep understanding and love of God. We can then see the world we live in, the people we relate to and we ourselves are none other than Siva. Finally, we learn to meditate deeply, to quiet the mind, and discover peace and silence within ourselves, to identify more with the experiencer than with experience. That brings us to the realization of God within us. When fully matured on this evolutionary journey we are fully one with God. We call this ancient path of spiritual striving San Marga, the 'True Path.' It is a path of service, worship, yoga and wisdom. Just as a train reaches its destination by following the tracks, we reach our innate perfection and freedom from rebirth by following the San Marga.
"We are the undying consciousness and energy flowing through all things. Deep inside we are perfect this very moment and we have only to discover and live up to this perfection to be whole."
Certainly a lot of good points in this lesson. The first one is the dual nature of the soul. So you don't find that in all Hindu teachings. It's very strong in Gurudeva's teachings. You have the soul body and the essence of the soul. Together the soul body plus the essence of the soul equals the totality of the soul. And the two are our very different natures. The essence of the soul which Gurudeva describes elsewhere as Parashakti and Parasiva, doesn't change. Whereas, the soul body is evolving; it's maturing. So I've, I have called that "being and becoming." So essence of the soul is being Siva and the soul body is becoming Siva. Part of us is becoming and part of us already is. So, it's a dual process. And when we step from one to the other we need to keep that in mind, that nothing has to happen to be Siva.
You don't have to do this this this this and then this this and this and then that that and that. It's always true. It just has to be claimed, so to speak. The analogy I use is that nuggets of gold at the bottom of the pond. The nuggets are always there but just has to be seen, has to be found. But the surface can have ripples on it which blocks our view. If the ripples are stilled which symbolize the thoughts, if our thoughts are stilled then there still can be some mud in the water which is the subconscious. Remnants of past experience that weren't quite resolved. So we gotta get the mud out of there. So we gotta still the surface, get the mud out, then that which is always there, the gold nugget can be seen. But it's always there. We just have to see it and having that perspective is necessary to find it. That's the point. We can't think always: I'm not ready yet. I still have to do this, this and this. Then I have to do that that and that. Then there's this over here I have to do. You know, if we think that we're not ready yet, we're not looking in the right place. So we have to think we're ready; we have to recognize that it's always there. That's the important perspective. It's always there. The essence of the soul is always identical with Siva as Parashakti and Parasiva. Means the soul body is maturing.
How does it mature? "We grow by learning to control our mind body and emotions." Sometimes we have the opposite point of view. If only my life was simpler then I could unfold spiritually, right? There's just so much going on in my life I just can't possibly unfold and spend all of my time dealing with it. Well the point is we need to deal with it in a way where we don't lose control of our mind body and emotions. We can't get upset by life. Imperturbability, I think that's the word I choose. Imperturbability!
So, I was telling one of the monks, you know. Even if you find out the world's going to end tomorrow it shouldn't upset you. That's imperturbability. Hurricane's arriving in five minutes. Oops! Guess I didn't watch the weather report. Imperturbability! Nothing should upset us emotionally. There's no advantage to getting emotionally upset. We lose the smartest part of us when we get emotionally upset. So even if something really significant is about to happen we don't want it to disturb our emotions or our intellect. We should just face it. That's imperturbability.
So we need to get better at that. And when challenges in life come to us and those are opportunities to better control our mind, body and emotions. By exerting control we mature the soul. That's what Gurudeva says elsewhere. How do we mature the soul? By exerting control over mind, body and emotions. That causes the soul to mature. By not exerting control then it's not maturing as fast as it could. We could still be of service to others, that helps it mature. But we could be maturing it even faster if we were exerting control over it when it starts to get upset, bothered by life.
Then Gurudeva gives a beautiful pattern in Dancing with Siva. The way he says it is: We suffer until we learn, and then we serve. Serving is the beginning of spiritual unfoldment. From that comes understanding when leads to meditation. So it's the natural progression.
Why do we suffer? Somebody punishing us? Somebody mad at us? We suffer because of our karma. We've done unwise things. It's the only reason we suffer. It looks like somebody else is involved but that's an illusion. It's all you. It's like one person being the director, all the actors. The same person. Can you imagine that? It's all you; you just think it's somebody else. Why is it you? Because it's in your subconscious. You're attracting that experience to you because of what you've done in the past which is called karma. So a big magnet inside of you attracting all of this. Of course the magnet can be adjusted through, like living in the present through penance and all. But still it's there and it's attracting those experiences to you. And if you're suffering it means you caused someone else to suffer in the past. That's the basic reason you're suffering. We did something unwise in the past that caused others to suffer, maybe we didn't even realize we were making them suffer. So that comes to us as a consequence.
So, eventually we get tired of suffering, right? Say: This isn't funny fun. According to your life after life, suffering. Maybe I should act more wisely. So, we learn. So suffering leads to learning. We learn what actions cause us to suffer and what actions don't cause us to suffer. Therefore, by following our learning we stop suffering.
And then, we're not so much wrapped up in our self as a result of that. When we're suffering and learning we can be very self centered. Just kind of takes up our whole life. Suffering and the learning from it, the suffering and the learning from it, we don't have any time to think about serving others. When we get that under control then somehow there's more free time. And that gives us an opportunity to serve. Serving leads to deeper understanding and which calms the mind and allows us to meditate. So someone who's suffering can't meditate; their life is just too emotionally up and down. So, we have to get rid of all of that. To get a calm, calmness going in our life on a day to day basis and then that's a platform for meditation.
So suffering leads to learning, leads to service, leads to understanding, leads to meditation.
"Just as a train reaches its destination by following the tracks we reach our innate perfection and freedom from rebirth by following the San Marga..."
That relates to the idea, spiritual but not religious--SBNR. Spiritual but not religious. It's a common category in the...What is it called, "PEW"? Is that the name of the research? They do the surveys of, different surveys, one is on religion. How, you know, what religion are you? Those residing in the United States. And this category keeps growing. Spiritual but not religious, keeps growing. So the comparison I gave when I mentioned it last time was the scientist who says, "Oh I don't need to learn what everybody else learns, I'll just figure things out on my own." Not gonna get very far. You know, science makes advancements because the scientist studies everything that's ever been discovered. Studies what everybody learned. Theories that are invalid and theories that are valid. You know, he totally understands what previous scientists in the field he's interested in have discovered. And based upon that he moves forward. Whether he tries to contradict it or not isn't the point. But, he had to learn it in order to understand what to do.
So religion is the same. If we just go out spiritual but not religious, we're not gaining the benefit of what's been figured out. For example ashtanga yoga. Very precise system of how to go within. If we don't study that it's much harder to go within than if we study ashtanga yoga. So that's what this statement means. Yogaswami actually said the statement: "Train needs to run on the tracks." Oh, meaning if we follow a well documented religious path, we'll make more progress than we just, then if we just try and figure it all out ourselves. Just like the scientists.
So, thank you very much.
Have a wonderful day.
Aum Namah Sivaya.