This morning Kaduval temple was filled with the sweet, smoky fragrance of the sacred fire. Monks chanted Sri Rudram as Bodhinatha burned notes to the devas. After the Homa Bodhinatha gave an inspired talk about the power of affirmation. Pointing out that the things that happen to us, are byproducts of that which has gone into our subconscious, and that affirmations are a powerful way of consciously impressing the subconscious in order to create a positive future.
About the fulfillment of prayers to the devas from Living With Siva:
You may ask if the devas perform only good for us, and if they test us or punish us. All devas are under one of the Gods. When you write prayers to Lord Ganesa, some of His devas go to work in finding a solution for you. It is the same for Lord Murugan. Lord Siva is creator, preserver and destroyer of all that exists, but He also has tens of hundreds of thousands of devas who serve His devotees. All Siva temples are ahimsa, benign. The temple devas who answer prayers are those who represent only two of Siva's powers: that of creation and that of preservation. The innocent requests, void of malice toward others, are considered benign and acceptable. No request is fulfilled for a bad thing to happen--the death of an enemy, the failure of one person so that another can succeed, the displacement of a neighbor, the fall of business competitors, the injury of those who have injured us, the death of an infidel, equal retaliation for hurts received (the eye-for-an-eye, tooth-for-a-tooth philosophy). Any such retaliatory, hurtful, himsa request is automatically placed into another sacred homa fire in the inner world by the first deva who reads it and sent back to the sender in tongues of fire to his heart to stimulate the fire of tapas, to soften his heart and to lift this young soul into higher consciousness, out from the asuric realms in which he lives. No, the Siva temple's sacred fires can never be used for black magic, gray magic or the manipulation of other lives for the personal benefit of one's own. Hurtfulness, himsa, is to be avoided, lest it stimulate the fires of tapas within the himsa advocate and begin a process of purification that one might not be quite ready for. ¶There is no need to fear tapas, though it can be painful to see the malice wished on another come back to oneself. This is Siva's mode of dissolution, a grace that burns away ill will and brings about a softening of the heart. It is one's own malice that must be faced and overcome and destroyed. When tapas begins, it will burn off the accumulated dross from the wrongdoings of many past lives and eventually lift the soul to higher consciousness. This is why we call higher consciousness "Siva consciousness." But tapas is a painful process, one to be avoided by not wishing harm on another through the sacred fire. ¶You can gently purify yourself, while avoiding the burning fire of tapas, by following the disciplines of Saivite religious life and sadhana such as the yamas and niyamas, the pañcha nitya karmas, scriptural study and other personal disciplines given by the Kailasa Parampara satgurus. These keep the fires of tapas only warm, not burning hot, and accomplish the same purpose over a prolonged period of time.
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