Internalizing Worship

Our tradition makes it easy and natural to first experience God in the temple then to experience God inside ourselves. Temple worship, puja, puts energies in the right place. Aptitudes for meditation. Four themes of the Tirukural: God, rain, renunciates, dharma.

Unedited Transcript:

Good morning. This is from the Merging with Siva lesson for today: Unconditional Surrender.

"What do we mean by internalizing worship? In external worship we are trying to see God and communicate with God with our two eyes and our physical nerve system. We enjoy His darshan and feel His shakti. In deep meditation, the external worship is deliberately internalized, and we are trying to see God with our third eye and feel God's all-pervasiveness through our psychic nerve system. Externalizing bhakti is really much easier than internalizing it. But once the externalized bhakti is perfected, it will be easy and natural to internalize bhakti right along. When this is accomplished, the most rigorous hurdles and time-consuming practices of yoga, which often lead the person onto anava marga, will have been side-stepped."

So that's our particular tradition in Saiva Siddhanta. We had the temple before we had meditation and then to experience God in the temple before we experience God inside ourselves and as Gurudeva's pointing out, the first step leads naturally into the second. "Once the externalized bhakti is perfected, it will be easy and natural to internalize bhakti right along."

Verses hard. So hard is doing lots of pranayamas and techniques to get the kundalini activated. Those are the "...rigorous hurdles and time-consuming practices." So we can skip all of that if we do well in our temple worship first. In other words, we are naturally in the right mood already. We don't have to work hard to get our energies in the right place. The temple worship has already put them there.

So Gurudeva's even more specific in the next paragraph he says:

"To internalize worship, after the puja is over sit before the Deity and draw into yourself all the pranas you feel around your body. (The first step.) Then draw those energies up the spine into the head. (Step two.) This is done with the mind and with the breath. It is very easy to do. It is especially easy when one is at the end of a major karmic cycle. The bhakti of uncompromising surrender, prapatti, to the God during a temple puja awakens the amrita. The amrita is the sweet essence from the sahasrara chakra. It is the binding yoke to the Divine. Bind yourself in the lotus posture after temple worship and simply internalize all the feelings that you had for the God during the worship. That's all there is to it. The yogi yoked within enjoys the amrita that flows from the cranium throughout his body. Devotees who want to awaken the higher chakras and sustain that awakening on the safe path will throw themselves into becoming uncompromising bhaktars. Then all the Gods of all three worlds will open their hearts and shower blessings upon them."

Well that's a nice specific description there, Gurudeva gives us. "After the puja ... sit before the Deity and draw into yourself all the pranas you feel around you." Meaning your energy that's going out, it's not energy that's not you, it's your energy that's going out ward. So that means pranas. "Then draw those energies up the spine into the head. This is done with the mind and with the breath."

So different individuals have different aptitudes for meditation. Some find it easy all the time, some find it easy only some of the time. Others find it difficult all the time. Why that is? Maybe it's past life practice.

But this is a good technique here, in other words, particularly if we're, we feel our meditation isn't that great all the time and then this particular practice can help us go within more easily because we're taking advantage of what has happened during the puja and internalizing it before we, it dissipates. It will dissipate if we don't internalize it soon after the puja. So if we do it right afterwards then it's a way of going within and eventually we don't need the puja to catalyze us. We can do the same thing just as effectively without the puja.

We're getting ready to fly off again. Busy time of year here. Somebody will get the schedule so it doesn't do this every August, September it gets too many events. So we're leaving Sun 5 is it?

For Malaysia, Singapore, we're doing an interesting, interesting presentations. Thinking that the one for Singapore, they, I was thinking they wanted something on Saivism which I had about half ready maybe hour and a half, two hour presentation. Then they said: "No we want something on the Tirukural and it should be 4 hours long." They told me just two months ago. So I didn't want to say no but definitely I figure right now it has five hundred and twenty-five slides in it. It's a bit big. But it's interesting and I'm thinking you all might enjoy it. So I have to find a time I could show it. It's going through the first section which is on virtue. First thirty-eight chapters plus a few, three or four from subsequent sections. And presenting it in terms of different concepts or themes that are in the Tirukural. We're not going it through a single verse at a time which would be way too tedious. So I'll just give you the first theme since it's on my mind.

The first theme is, you ask the question: "What are the four components or conditions we need on earth for spiritual life to exist?" So everyone will think and then speak up and so forth. And then we go through the four chapters of the introduction which basically give us what Tiruvalluvar thinks are the four most important things. That's why he put them in the introduction.

Well first one of course, God, that will be a normal guess, first chapter's in praise of God. So we need the worship of God in order to make spiritual progress.

Second one is the importance of rain. So we need rain so we can grow food. And rain also in our modern thinking, I mean rain in South India, because its a monsoon takes on a big importance. Cause it only rains a couple of months of the year and it doesn't rain the rest of the year in India. So the monsoon in Tamil Nadu's the one that starts in October. Middle of October through the middle of December roughly is the rainy season. So if the rain doesn't come during those two months then there's not enough water for agriculture and other uses.

But in our modern world, I look at it as ecology, you know, not just rain. And the planet has to work right. And they didn't have global warming back then to worry about. So the planet has to be functioning right, including rain.

The third one is the one that is going to surprise everyone unless they know the Tirukural. It's called: "The Greatness of Renunciates." Well one of the four points is, that Tiruvalluvar thinks is important is having renunciates around. So I have a little story of the modern Hindu family sitting around the table.

And the one says: "Oh, my son has a masters degree in information technology."

And the next one says: " My daughter is a plastic surgeon."

And the third one says: "Oh, my son is a renunciate."

You know. Other words it doesn't have the social status it used to. Doesn't have the importance it used to. It's not understood and it's one of the reasons Gurudeva points out nicely in the introduction that renunciates are the natural ministers, those who can teach. And Hinduism is short on qualified teachers and unless you're a member of Swami Narayan -- seven hundred, eight hundred qualified teachers, but everybody else is a bit short. So that's there; that's the third requirement.

Then the fourth one is dharma. Asserting virtuous strength. So dharma, the guidelines of what to do. What practices should we follow? What are our duties in life to make spiritual advancement? So, those are the four components that are needed on earth for spiritual lives.

So we'll see how that works. See how close they come to guessing. So we'll find a way of fitting it in here. Total presentation is supposed to take about three and a half hours with half an hour tea break. So figure out a way to present it here.

OK, have a wonderful phase.

[End of transcript.]

Photo of  Gurudeva
Worship of Lord Ganesha sets the path of dharma. Go to His Feet. He alone can perform this miracle for you. He will release the mental and emotional obstructions to spiritual progress. He will remove the burdens of worldliness.