Ardra, Monastic Vows and the Sat Siva Yuga!

Today Lord Nataraja was worshiped with a beautiful abhishekam. And for the first time, instead of declaring it the Kali Yuga, Kaudval temple resounded with the words "Sat Siva Yuge." We have officially acknowledged the passing of one Yuga into the next, of the darkness of the Kali Yuga, into the light of the Sat Yuga. But just as winter gradually melts into spring, this does not mean we are instantly at the heights of evolutionary and planetary perfection, but rather that we are in the middle of two, great overlapping cycles.

And on this very auspcious day, our newest Sadhaka takes his vows. At the same time, all of our postulant Sadhaka renew their two-year vows. Sivanadiyar Girish has pledged himself to uphold the four sacred vows of Humility, Purity, Obedience and Confidence. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami has blessed him and given him a new name. With all of our love and blessings we welcome Sadhaka Dayanatha as the newest monk of the Kailasa Parampara. Aum Namah Sivaya!

The following are excerpts from his four vows, which he read aloud to Bodhinatha and the attending monks:


Humility is the state of profound maturity in which the soul, immersed in the depths of understanding and compassion, radiates the qualities of mildness, modesty, reverent obeisance and unpretentiousness. There is an analogy in the Saivite tradition that compares the unfolding soul to wheat. When young and growing, the stalks of wheat stand tall and proud, but when mature their heads bend low under the weight of the grains they yield. Similarly, man is self-assertive, arrogant and vain only in the early stages of his spiritual growth. As he matures and yields the harvest of divine knowledge, he too bends his head. In the Tamil language this absence of pride or self-assertion is known as pannivu. Pannivu also means "jewel." In the Tirukural it is said that "Humility and pleasant words are the jewels that adorn a man; there are none other."

Humility does not consist in concealing our merits and virtues or in thinking ourselves worse or more ordinary than we are. Nor is it a pretended meekness. Rather it lies in not exalting ourselves before others for we perceive the grandeur of God Siva in every human being and reverently acknowledge Him there. Humility in this ideal is the awakened perception that "Siva is All." It is the inner being predominating over the outer nature.


Purity is the pristine and natural state of the soul. It is not something which the monastic attains as much as that which he already is, and which becomes evident as the layers of adulterating experience and beclouding conceptions are dissipated. Purity is clarity and clearness in all dimensions of being. It is innocence as opposed to familiarity with the ways of the world. It is for monastics the observance of chastity, called brahmacharya. In Tamil purity is given its fullest expression in the term tirikarannasutti, which means "purity in mind, speech and body." These three--also called thought, word and deed--convey the fullness of the ideal of purity.

Purity does not consist in merely doing good and being good, though these are essential, nor is it an outward appearance or show of such goodness. It is primarily an inner quality, equally present in the saint who outwardly reflects the purity of his attainment and in the sage who inwardly rests in that same purity though his attainment may not be apparent. Purity is not a manner of behavior, though it may be reflected in our behavior, and there is no merit in taking on the appearance of being pure when one is not yet pure.


Obedience is the state of willingness and cooperation in which the soul remains open and amenable to enlightened direction. For the monastic it is an unbroken pledge of trust in and surrender to the satguru, the guru parampara and the mystic process of spiritual evolution. In the Tamil language this definition of obedience is expressed in the term taalvu enum tanmai, which denotes "the quality or state of humble submission."

Obedience does not consist in blind submission and yielding to authority, nor in weakening our own will that it may be dominated by the will of another. Yet it is, in another sense, submission to a sacred purpose and the divine authority of the Second and Third Worlds. It is, for the monastic, an inner quality that allows him to remain consciously tractable and responsive. In the beginning, while the instinctive nature remains strong and there exists a sense of "I" and "mine," obedience is a surrendering of the ego to the soul or the instinctive nature to the spiritual nature. As long as the ego dominates the life of man, he will experience obedience as capitulation or subjection. As the soul unfolds and separateness is replaced by knowledge of the unity that pervades the universe, obedience is perceived as the union of minds and purpose, a state of harmony so complete that there can exist no distinction between him who gives and him who receives instruction or direction. True obedience is based on agreement, trust and knowledge, as opposed to passive servility, nonresistance or domination, which have ignorance and fear as their basis.

Confidence is the state of trust in which the sacred teachings and sensitive or personal matters are not divulged to others. Spiritual matters must be protected and preserved by those to whom they are entrusted, never wantonly or indiscriminately revealed. When we confide in another, we do so with the assurance that sensitive and serious information will not be inappropriately disclosed. In the Tamil language confidence is known as rahasiyam, meaning "secret or mystery."

Confidence as applied to these Sacred Vows does not mean "certainty," "a belief in one's abilities" or "self-confidence." Rather it is a confiding, a trusting and a relying upon. It is the controlled sharing of privileged teachings or information that should not be disclosed, but held in confidentiality. In its most simple form it is the keeping of a secret.

Confidence for the monastic may be defined as wisdom in handling information. The monastic must learn to hold in strict secrecy all spiritual direction and esoteric laws entrusted to him, never revealing them unless specifically ordained to do so. He must realize the wisdom of Saint Yogaswami's statement that "Sacred is secret and secret is sacred," never treating the inner teachings as ordinary knowledge to be published or spoken of to the public or prematurely disclosed to devotees.

May Yogaswami, Gurudeva, and our entire guru-lineage, steadily guide Dayanatha from this and inner worlds. Jai Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami! Jai Gurudeva!

Aum Namah Sivaya!

13 Responses to “Ardra, Monastic Vows and the Sat Siva Yuga!”

  1. Thamilmani Visakan says:

    Congrats Sadhaka Dayanatha, om namasivaya

  2. Tejasinha Sivalingam says:

    Jai Ganapati! Yay, welcome one and all to the Sat Siva Yuga…this was very exciting for me to read. I am so happy to be here at this time. Congratulations Sadhaka Dayanatha! I am happy to see the wonderful Sadhakas renewing their vows.
    Aum Sivaya

  3. Rajen Manick says:

    Congratulations to Sadhaka Dayanatha! Great leap ahaed in spiritual life! Aum.

  4. Thanam Joseph says:

    Congratulations to Sadhaka Dayanatha.
    Our ancestors crossed the ocean from India and Ceylon to develop
    the country of Malaya over 200 years ago but you crossed another
    ocean to contribute to Hinduism.

    Thank you to everyone in Iraivan Temple for carrying on the
    vision of Gurudeva.

  5. S koomaren Moorghen says:

    Aum Namasivaya,

    Congratulations to Sadhaka Dayanatha.

  6. prasana samugam says:

    Dear Sadhaka Dayanatha Girish

    Wish you all the best in future life. I’m very really happy for you and really proud of you. May god bless you always. Take Care.

    Prasana Samugam

  7. sivathathuva Sivam says:

    Who follow this four vows in right way, they will obtain automatically pure inner quality.
    Congratulations to Sadhakas
    “Siva is all beings and materials”

  8. Adi Srikantha says:

    Bodhinatha has strengthened our unmoving foundation of the Aadheenam with another dynamic soul, welcome Dayanatha

  9. Padmaja says:

    Jai to Kailas Parampara! So happy to see these pure souls in white robes lining up at the feet of our Guru. Great to witness this auspicious moment where one more is joining this parampara. Congratulations Sadhaka Dayanatha!

  10. mougam Pareatumbee says:

    AUm Namasivaya

    Congrats to Sadhaka Dayanatha
    when you take such a great decision in life and guided by our satGuru ,even the yuga changes , what a great and powerful soul you become in making the right decision whic many of us must live several lives to achieve,
    You are an example for our youth and living under the roof of Kauaai aaadheenam is living in the best of the worlds of planet earth -really where heaven touches earth and where the gross is converted to subtles and light through he power of our Guru
    aum Namasivaya You are a great soul

  11. Rema Devi says:

    Congratulations Sadhaka Dayanatha,Aum Namasivaya

  12. Saradambal Munian says:

    Congratulation Sadhaka Dayanatha……Jai Kailasha Parampara.

  13. BARATHY says:

    Congratulations Sadhaka! 🙂

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