Bodhinatha talks about ways of staying in touch with Gurudeva, such as through our monthly guru puja and reading Gurudeva's teachings. Next he discusses the natural patterns of life's karmas and the wisdom to be used in facing those karmas.
We would like to welcome our many guests this morning. Vanakkam! Welcome! Namaskaram!
We don't usually give a talk after the Guru Puja because it goes on so long. But we said if the guests come, who said they were coming this morning, then we will give a talk. So it is just for you! A few words, a short talk.
The puja this morning is a Guru Puja, which is done once a month on the nakshatra of Gurudeva's passing, which is Chitra nakshatra. It is our way of staying in touch with Gurudeva, keeping him close to us. We don't want him to float away, forget about us.
There was an interesting dream. Lots of Gurudeva's devotees have dreams and with the speed of e-mail, they come in every week. We get a few dreams that come in that they wish to share with us and there is a very nice one in that regard.
Gurudeva was talking to the devotee who is a lady. The lady was saying, "Oh, Gurudeva, please don't leave us." Gurudeva said, "Well, as long as one person is reading my teachings, I will be here."
That shows us something, that Gurudeva's writings, his teachings particularly the core teachings found in 'Dancing, Merging and Living with Siva' are a way of staying in touch with him. He, from the inner planes, is very much in tune with those and influences those in a positive spiritual way, who read his writings on a regular basis.
During the Puja this morning I was thinking, you know, if Gurudeva was here, does he have a message for us? Does he have something he wants us to do? What would he say? Is there something we are not doing that we should be doing?
I got the strong sense that the answer was, "No." But more specifically that the answer was, what you should be doing is going to happen anyway. So, you don't have to try and do it. Life is going to come to you whether you want it to or not. Joyful, easy times, difficult times, joys, sorrows, pleasure, pain, it is all coming. It is all there. It is all in your karma. It can't help but come. So you don't have to go looking for it, you don't have to go try and do something different. You can't avoid it, you can't hide from it. It is going to come.
It is like that famous story. A king was told that his son was going to die from a snake bite. So he did everything in the world to prevent it but still it happened. He was not able to prevent the karma from happening, even though he was a king and had all these resources at his disposal.
So what is going to happen is going to happen. But where the focus should be is how we respond to it, because that is where we have a choice, that is where we have free will.
For example, a small infant keeps us awake all night by crying. How do we respond to it? That is where we have a choice. Does it upset us? Do we yell back? Do we cry back? Or, do we just take it and respond back with lots of love?
We get accused of something that we didn't do. How do we respond to it? We face challenges at work, our boss is unfair with us, yells at us. Do we go home and yell at the wife? We wanted to yell at the boss but we could not. So, do we go home and yell at the wife? We have choices.
It is how we face the life that comes to us that makes a difference. How we face it, it is going to come anyway. But we can face it and we can just react emotionally to it without thinking much about spiritual principles. We can get angry. We can get despondent. We can worry a lot. We can get irritable or we can choose not to. We can choose to control these emotional reactions that we might have. We can choose to live without anger. We can choose to increase our patience. We can choose to be kinder to other people, to be more generous. That is what makes a difference.
In our last 'Publisher's Desk' we tried to express this in a very simple way, simple phrase, 'Improve our behavior'. There is no Sanskrit words in that, nothing difficult, easy to remember. We should try to improve our behavior.
In other words, if we get angry now and then, let us try and eliminate anger all together. If we get impatient with people who seem to explain things at great lengths when it could be explained in a short way, lets learn how not to get impatient. Let us learn how to accept that, that is their nature. We find ourself receiving money, a bonus at work and our first thought is what we can do to get ourselves more possessions. Let us try and be more generous. "What can we do to help the local temple?" should be our first thought.
That is where the choice lies. So we don't have to go out and look for something to do. We don't have to ask Gurudeva, "Gee, Gurudeva. What should we do?" It is going to come to us. We cannot help but it will come to us. But it is how we respond to it. We try and improve, do better, apply more spiritual principles. That is where we have a choice.