Over the retreat the monastery celebrated Vaikashi Vishakham.
A festival held on Vishakha nakshatra, near the full moon day of the Tamil month of Vaikasi, May-June, to celebrate the creation, or "birth," of Lord Karttikeya. It is a time of gift-giving to panditas and great souls, weddings, feedings for the poor, caring for trees, spiritual initiation and conclaves of holy men.
What Are the Main Karttikeya Festivals
Vaikashi Vishakham celebrates the anniversary of Lord Karttikeya's creation. Skanda Shashthi is a six-day festival honoring His conquest of light over darkness. Tai Pusam is a time of sadhana and public penance. Aum.
On Vaikasi Vishakham day, Lord Karttikeya's birthstar, Visakha nakshatra, in May-June, elaborate abhisheka is conducted in all His temples. It is a time of gift-giving to panditas and great souls, weddings, feedings for the poor, caring for trees, spiritual initiation, diksha, and conclaves of holy men. Skanda Shashthi is celebrated on the six days after the new moon in October-November with festive processions and pujas invoking His protection and grace. It honors Karttikeya's receiving the vel, His lance of spiritual illumination, jñana sakti, and culminates in a dramatic victory celebration of spiritual light over asuric darkness. Tai Pusam occurs on Pushya nakshatra in January-February. During this festival we fast and perform public penance, called kavadi, seeking Karttikeya's blessings to dispel our selfishness, pride and vanity. His special monthly days are Krittika nakshatra and Shashthi, the sixth tithi after the new moon. The Vedas say, "Like the cry of watchful birds swimming in water, like the loud claps of thundering rain clouds, like the joyful streams gushing from the mountain, so have our hymns sounded forth to the Lord." Aum Namah Sivaya.
From Dancing with Siva:
What Is the Nature of Lord Karttikeya?
Lord Karttikeya, Murugan, first guru and Pleiadean master of kundalini yoga, was born of God Siva's mind. His dynamic power awakens spiritual cognition to propel souls onward in their evolution to Siva's feet. Aum.
Lord Karttikeya flies through the mind's vast substance from planet to planet. He could well be called the Emancipator, ever available to the call of those in distress. Lord Karttikeya, God of will, direct cognition and the purest, child-like divine love, propels us onward on the righteous way through religion, His Father's law. Majestically seated on the manipura chakra, this scarlet-hued God blesses mankind and strengthens our will when we lift to the inner sky through sadhana and yoga. The yoga pada begins with the worship of Him. The yogi, locked in meditation, venerates Karttikeya, Skanda, as his mind becomes as calm as saravana, the lake of Divine Essence. The kundalini force within everyone is held and controlled by this powerful God, first among renunciates, dear to all sannyasins. Revered as Murugan in the South, He is commander in chief of the great devonic army, a fine, dynamic soldier of the within, a fearless defender of righteousness. He is Divinity emulated in form. The Vedas say, "To such a one who has his stains wiped away, the venerable Sanatkumara shows the further shore of darkness. Him they call Skanda." Aum Namah Siva ya.
We will be releasing a video of the event shortly.
Today the monks begin their new phase with a homa, after observing a three day retreat. Notes from monks and devotees are written to the devas and burned, to be read in the inner worlds. These prayers are a vital part of the monastery's balance, as religion itself can be defined as the harmonious working together of the three worlds. Satguru Bodhinatha then gave a wonderful talk inspired by the daily Master Course lesson on willpower. The lesson reads:
Lesson 45 from Merging with Siva
Realization Requires Will
Work with willpower, awareness and energy as three separate items first. Feel awareness and discover what it is. Use willpower and discover what it is. Feel energy and analyze energy and discover what it is. Then separate the three of them in your intellectual mind and experiential pattern. Then, after you've gotten that done, you will begin to see inside yourself that the three are one and the same. And it is actually the beautiful, pure intelligence of the immortal soul body, that body of light of you, on its path inward into its last phase of maturity on this planet. This inner body of light has been maturing through many, many different lives.
If you would like to know how it came along, for instance if you had ninety lives on this planet, each life the body of light matured one year. So your body of light would be ninety years old, so to speak. You can look at it that way. That's not quite the way it actually is, but looking at it that way gives you an idea of the maturing of this body of light. The pure intelligence of it is your awareness--which is energy and which is willpower--that life after life becomes stronger, more steadfast. Finally, in your last incarnation on the Earth, you merge into its final experience, that great samadhi, the Self, beyond the complete, still area of consciousness. You go in not knowing what you are getting into, and you come out wise. Your complete perspective is changed, and you only talk about it to those that are on the path of enlightenment, as they are the only ones steady enough or free enough to understand the depth of this realization.
Here are the ingredients: attention, concentration, meditation, contemplation, samadhi. Willpower is the fuel. It does not take time. Someone asked me, "Do you think I can have this samadhi, realize the Self, in ten years?" I said, "I certainly don't. I don't think you have enough willpower to realize it in a hundred years, because it doesn't take time. It takes will. If you had the will, you wouldn't add ten years on it. You would simply be telling me, 'I am going to have this realization.' And I would believe you because I would feel your will moving out of every atom of your body. But the mere fact that you take an intellectual approach, I have to say no, because whatever I did think wouldn't make any difference one way or the other. You are not going to get it with an attitude like that, because it's not something you go out and buy. It's not another getting, like 'I have a car. I have clothes. I have a little money. And now, after I get my television paid for, I think I'll get the Self, because that is the next thing to get. It's really great. I read about it. I heard about it. I heard a speaker speak about it. I'm all fired up to get this Self, and it's in next in the line of getting, so I'm going to get it!' It doesn't work like that. You don't get that which you have. You can't get that which you have. It's there. You have to give up the consciousness of the television, the money, the clothes, the people that you know, the personality that you thought you were, the physical body. You have to go into the elements of the physical body, into the elements of that, and into the energy of that, and into the vast inner space of that, and into the core of that, and into the that of that, and into the that of that, and finally you realize that you have realized the Self. And you've lost something. You lost your goal of Self Realization. And you come back into the fullness of everything, and you are no longer looking, and you are no longer asking, and you are no longer wanting. You just are." When you get tired of the external area of the mind that you are flowing through, you simply dive in again.
We offer today a few choice quotes from our dear Gurudeva, who guides us now through Bodhinatha and the parampara. Let us ever cling to his feet, follow his orders, bathe in his love, discover the Self he taught us to pursue.
"Those who know wisdom's ways have overcome the 'I'm getting old' syndrome, a mantra no one should ever repeat, even once."
"The whole world can be changed by a glance." Yogaswami said that to me.
"Wealth grows slowly like the building up of a mountain, but dissipates quickly like the melting of a mountain of snow."
We were looking at his hands, and he noted one thumb nail was a little dented and remembered as a boy he caught it in a car door!
From 1997: "The hand that slaps a child starts the war." Said while reading his old inspired talk The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Rules the World.
"Do not get so involved in your daily work that you forget the inside.
When you forget the inside, instinctive emotions start to well
up such as frustration and worry. You worry about time. As
you go through the day, always be listening for the inner voice.
It does not talk to you as I am, but comes as a deep knowing
like a breath of air--you just know the best solution to a
question of the external mind, you just know what to do next.
By doing this, your day will be much smoother. Your work will
be more efficient and creative. Think about this today."
Task Forcer Cody Deveny has arrived. A new student of the Master Course, he is here to serve and see if he may be interested in our monastic life.
Summer has arrived and we are expecting many visitors this season.
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.