Getting to Know God through Sadhana

Bodhinatha spoke on the Tamil New Year, which is today, how this is the first day the Sun is in Aries. He talked about the ultimate goals of life, Self Realization and how we can see God in all things. "You are in God, and God is in you," Satguru Yogaswami would say. Who is God? Where is God? How can I get to know God? All who know Gurudeva, who spent time with him during his life, have a special opportunity to accelerate our karmas for a siritual purpose. Keep Gurudeva in our minds and hearts, follow our sadhanas as he would want us to.

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Questions? Bodhinatha is the successor of "Gurudeva," Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. If you have questions on subjects about spiritual life you will find answers in Gurudeva's books and teachings. Learn about ways to study these teachings by visiting The Master Course site or writing to mastercourse@hindu.org.

Unedited Transcript:

Good morning, everyone! Happy New Year!

First day of Aries, first day of our New Year, starting over in our Master Course lessons, first day of the Master Course.

So, Sutra One which is in the first lesson of the year. "Siva's followers strive for God Realization as the first and foremost goal of life. They learn to dance with Siva, live with Siva, merge with Siva. Deep within, they discover their eternal, immortal oneness with God. Aum."

That sets the goal quite nicely - God Realization.

There was a nice quote on the calendar I happened to see this morning. Gurudeva says, "I had a vision, once, of Siva Nataraja dancing, I can hear the bells on His ankles, I could see His feet and legs. He is a beautiful dancer and He dances in the Third World." That was inspiring.

From our 'Living with Siva' lesson today.

"My Satguru, Siva Yogaswami, was a great siddha, a master and a knower of God. He would say, "Liberation is within you." He would order his seekers to "See God in everything. You are in God. God is within you. To realize the Supreme Being within you, you must have a strong body and a pure mind." He was a powerful mystic from Sri Lanka, perhaps the greatest to live in the twentieth century. His words drove deeply into the hearts of all who heard them. "God is in everyone. See Him there. God is overwhelmingly present everywhere. Regard everything as a manifestation of God, and you will realize the Truth," were his words. Simple words for a simple truth, but very, very difficult to practice. As we go on through life, we see only parts of life. We don't see the whole. We can't see the whole. Yogaswami said, "How can a part see the whole?" So, we live with a small part, are a small part. We seek to avoid the painful areas and attract to us the joyous ones. Most people live in this duality life after life, bound in the forces of desire and the fulfillment of it. Occasionally, a more mature soul breaks away from this cycle of desire-fulfillment-pleasure-loss-pain-suffering-and-joy and asks questions such as, "Who is God? Where is God? How can I come to know God?"

That is the 'Living with Siva' lesson.

A very interesting e-mail I received which I kept and thought I share today again. I read it once but it kind of sets a certain mood. I think August of 2002, someone sent this in. They said, "I just wanted to let you know that ever since Gurudeva had his Mahasamadhi, I have experienced an escalation of my spiritual understanding and especially in my practices. I really feel that I am being helped by Gurudeva's energy now. Have others said that they are experiencing this as well?"

So I gave an answer back then, "The answer is yes, many have reported this experience. The way the monks express it is that it feels like Gurudeva from the inside is pulling us towards the state of consciousness that he is now in. Or said another way, we are moving forward more quickly through our karma and dharma than before. The same karma and dharma but accelerated."

So, what does all that mean? Well, it means we have a wonderful opportunity. Nothing like a New Year or a new something to think about opportunities.

All of us who knew Gurudeva well and know him well, have a rare opportunity. As it says in my e-mail there, Gurudeva is just on the inside and we can take full advantage of that. Whereas, people that didn't meet Gurudeva don't have this opportunity. They have to do it another way! But we who know Gurudeva well, met him, have the opportunity to really make some spiritual progress, to accelerate our spiritual progress.

So that is always good to think about, New Year resolutions and all.

How do we do that? How do we accelerate our spiritual progress?

Well, by keeping our mind on Gurudeva, by not forgetting about him.

What are the ways we can do that?

Well, we can read the Daily Lesson everyday. Read The Master Course lesson, read it now and then and skip other days. We can think about him when we are in our shrine room, when we look at his picture and feel close to him. We can think about him before we go to sleep at night. That is a very good time because it is more likely we will end up in the inner planes with him. We can think about him by not getting externalized and not getting involved in other things, getting involved in the cycle of desire, as Gurudeva says. Remember him by the idea of Realization, that is what Gurudeva points out in this first sutra.

So what I said, it is a nice statement there. "Or said another way, we are moving forward more quickly through our karma and dharma than before. The same karma and dharma but accelerated."

We have a wonderful opportunity to move forward and make more spiritual progress than we may realize we can. So we want to take advantage of that opportunity. Today being New Year, is a good time to think about that. Recommit to the concept of moving forward and taking full advantage of the fact that Gurudeva is there on the inside pulling us towards the state of consciousness that he is in. We just have to focus on that and let ourselves move inward.

Thought for the day! Aum Namah Sivaya!