The Mission of Our Mission

Bodhinatha pulls from Gurudeva's writings in his Trilogy extracts in explaining the nature of our order and its mission. Much of this publicly defines our order and outlines the duties of its monastics in fulfilling that mission. Bodhinatha then explains moksha and concludes with Gurudeva's idea that "Life is meant to be lived joyously"

Unedited Transcript:

Bodhinatha says:

I looked at a picture of Gurudeva I don't know how many times and this time I noticed the black mark on the left [inaudible]. It's taken after a homa. [inaudible] I see this here from a young man who is interested in monastic life--a twenty year old in the U.S. sent me an unsolicited list of his ten desires. Do you know what his ten desires are? "It is my desire to know God. It is my desire to worship God. It is my desire to serve God. It is my desire to serve God's creation. It is my desire to mingle with holy company. It is my desire to bow before the guru's feet. It is my desire to do his will. It is my desire to renounce the past. It is my desire to renounce myself. It is my desire to renounce my desires."--all ten of them. That was sweet.

So I sent him back a note pulled from Gurudeva on Hinduism. "No other faith boasts such a deep and enduring comprehension of the mysteries of existence, or possesses so vast a metaphysical system. The storehouse of religious revelations in Hinduism cannot be reckoned. I know of its equal nowhere. It contains the entire system of yoga, of meditation and contemplation and self realization. Nowhere else is there such insightful revelation of the inner bodies of man, the subtle pranas in the chakras, or psychic centers within the nerve system. The inner spaces of superconsciousness are explored and mapped fully in Hinduism; from the clear white light to the sights and sounds which flood the awakened inner consciousness of man. In the West it is the mystically awakened soul who is drawn to Hinduism for an understanding of inner states of consciousness, discovering after ardent seeking that Hinduism possesses answers which do not exist elsewhere and is capable of guiding awareness into ever deepening mind strata."

Isn't that beautiful--a drawn statement on Hinduism from Gurudeva. I ran across "The Mission of the Mission" recently. Gurudeva put everything in the trilogy, even instructions to the monks, just so we wouldn't loose them, or forget them. You have to read them once a year at least. So this one is from "Living with Siva; The Mission of the Mission." "The legacy of devas from the entire parampara accompanies our monastic order providing silent, unseen inner guidance and protection for old and young alike. As long as at least one person within the entire group of mathavasis is going into and coming out of parasiva once a day, the doorway to the Third World remains open to the hereditary entourage of devonic forces that has been building up for over two thousand years."

So that is a very interesting statement. It shows the importance of striving to realize the Self certainly because it's saying that the whole key to holding this parampara inner lineage of beings is the monastic's' experience of parasiva, and that the devonic forces have been building up for over two thousand years. This is because of Brahmarandra, the door of Brahman is at the top the head, remains open when parasiva is daily experienced within a mathavasi community. It could be within the oldest monk, or within the youngest. This great realization occurring time and time again within someone day after day keep the door of brahm open for the entire brahma chakravala monastics, keeping vibrantly strong the inner actinic connection of all gurus of our parampara, as well as with other Saiva rishis and saints who have reached these same attainments and with the saptarishis themselves who guard our order from deep within the inner lokas.

Gurudeva goes on talking about swamis and sannyas. "My Saiva swamis or Natha swamis are distinguished by the orange robes, bore Natha earrings and three strands of rudraksha beads, we're the Saiva Siddhanta Yoga Order, known as the Saiva Swami Sangam when they gather in ecclesiastical conclaves. The Sangam does not follow the protocol of unanimous decision; rather it works in intuitive one mindedness to carry out instructions from the Kailasa Peetham, our spiritual seat of authority to bear the Saivite mission and the individuals dedicated to its success. These sannyasins are not looked upon as individuals so much as an integrated council assembled and working in unison to perform a holy work of Sivanadiyars- servants of God Siva. [inaudible] by the satguru, the Saiva Swami Sangam forms the ecclesiastical body of our Hindu church which works in a humble way to protect the purity of the faith among all Hindu sects, through inspiring publications and other means of encouragement.

In specific, our order's mission is to protect, preserve and promote the Saivite Hindu religion as embodied in the Tamil culture, traditions and scriptures of south India and Sri Lanka. Our monastic order follows a cenobitic pattern in which monastics live in community, work together toward common objectives. Sannyasins of this order are not wandering sadhus or silent contemplatives, known as anchorites. Rather they are members of a brotherhood working closely and industriously with their satguru and with their brother monastics.

Finally, sannyasa diksha: each has accepted the mission of the Kailasa parampara as his own: to protect and perpetuate Saivism, to serve Hindus the world over; to provide, teach and disseminate scriptures, religious literature and practical instruction; to promote temple construction and to exemplify the dignity and enlightenment of our Nandinatha Sampradaya. [inaudible] the lifetime vows of renunciation: humility, purity, confidence and obedience, these sannyasins are bound to fulfill their unique role in the Saiva culture of religious exemplars and staunch defenders of their faith. Their ideal is to vow as outward service, sivathondu and inward contemplation, realization, sivajnana for a rich fulfilling and useful life."

Well that's a beautiful statement which reminds us all what we're doing here as swamis and that is [inaudible]. Well, last phase we read the definition of moksha, which is: "Moksha comes when earthly karma has been resolved, karma well performed and God fully realized. So one of the lessons that went by in the week was the appropriate development of that: Dancing with Siva; Sloka Fifty. "Should one avoid worldly involvement? The world is a bountiful creation of a benevolent God, who means for us to live positively in it, facing karma and fulfilling dharma. We must not despise or fear the world; life is meant to be lived joyously. Aum Namasivaya."

"The world is a place where our destiny is shaped, our desires fulfilled, and our soul matured. In the world we grow from ignorance into wisdom, from darkness into light and from a consciousness of death to immortality. The whole world is an ashrama in which all are doing sadhana. We must love the world which is God's creation, or else we despise, hate and fear the world when we do not understand the intrinsic goodness of all. The world is a glorious place, not to be feared. It is a gracious gift from Siva himself, a playground for his children in which the interrelated young souls with the old: the young experiencing their karma while the old hold firmly to their dharma. The young grow, the old know. Not fearing the world does not give us permission to become immersed in worldliness. Through the contrary, it means remaining affectionately detached like a drop of water on a lotus leaf; being in the world but not of it; walking in the rain without getting wet. The Vedas warn: Behold the universe and the glory of God and all that lives and moves on earth--leaving the transient, find joy in the eternal. Set not your heart on another's possession."

That then develops that idea quite nicely. It also mentions one of Gurudeva's important themes: "Live is meant to be lived joyously." I always like to mention that a few times a year, just to remind us. Sometimes we get too serious; won't laugh enough, smile enough. That's not what's intended. Those of you who have heard me say it before; we remember I distinguish between being serious and being somber. Somber is: you never smile. We're pursuing something serious which is sadhana it's [inaudible] to smile. We can be serious, meaning trying to live a strict life, without being somber. They don't have to go together.

So that's Gurudeva's spirit as nicely shown in our forward look there. He certainly doesn't look somber. "Life is meant to lived joyously." So it's something that we were talking about in our class on meditation; training our state of consciousness--that's part of the idea. You have a heavy consciousness and awareness and haven't given much thought to meditation and states of consciousness are experienced during the day are very much subject to how the world is treating us. If someone is treating us poorly, giving us a bad time or we've lost things and we can't find them or we lost a computer file that we spent a week creating--you know, whatever. We tend not to be joyous. But there's no reason not to. No matter what's going on in our life, our state of consciousness doesn't have to be dependent upon that. So if people are treating us well or if people are treating us poorly, the day is going well or poorly we really don't have too much [inaudible] determined the state of consciousness or experience which is what lots of people do, and just subject to whatever happens during the day, makes them happy or sad.

But Gurudeva's approach in the Shum meditation is to claim an independence. He used to come in the morning to the temple here and the first word he would say was