This morning we observed the 288th monthly paduka puja to honor our late Gurudeva's mahasamadhi that occurred on Chitra nakshatra.
Exerpt from the Kularnava Tantra scripture--
"The world you reach after the physical body is shed is determined by the level of consciousness reached while in the body. So, as long as the body lasts, exert yourself towards the goal of Liberation. Remember, the physical body does not last forever. Age prowls like a leopard; diseases attack like an enemy. Death waits not to see what is done or not done. Before the limbs lose their vitality, before adversities crowd in upon you, take to the auspicious path.
Therefore, choose, then worship a satguru. Worship his feet. Cherish the very sandals (paduka) which hold his feet. All knowledge is founded on those paduka. Remember and cherish those paduka, which yield infinitely more merit than any number of observances, gifts, sacrifices, pilgrimages, mantra-japa and rituals of worship.
It is these feet, when remembered, that protect in times of distress, danger or calamity. Study, remembrance, knowledge, donations, sacrifices and worship are truly done by him who ever remembers the satgurus feet. Look toward the direction in which the lotus feet of the satguru lie and bow down to them every day with devotion. There is no mantra higher than that of his feet, no merit higher than his worship."
One of Yogaswami's most frequent admonitions to devotees seeking Siva consciousness was also one of his simplest. He would say, "Summa iru," Be still. One of his most ardent devotees, Germanswami, was so determined to fulfill that edict that he tatood the two words on his right forearm. Today we give some words of wisdom from Gurudeva on the topic of quieting the mind in order to go within. Not easy, he would say, but well worth the effort.
"The still mind of the sage is a mirror reflecting the depth of the universe. It is in that state of mental tranquility that you become acutely aware of the eternal present."
"Simplicity, the art of accomplishing a lot with a little, is what helps quiet the mind. When we are too encumbered with the world, there is no space for spiritual thoughts."
"The quest for enlightenment begins with the quieting of the mind. It is in silence that we hear the whispered wisdom of the soul."
"The ultimate aim is to be at home in one's body, to be at one with the nature of oneself, and to experience exercise as a creative and delightful experience. It is through this quieting of the mind and body that we tap into our divine source."
"Only when the clamor of the outside world is silenced will you be able to hear the deeper vibration. Listen carefully. It is a soundless voice, a shy breath, a flicker of light. It is the sacred fount of your existence."
"The quiet mind allows the voice of intuition to be heard."
"When the mind becomes still, a new consciousness between man and God becomes apparent."
A couple days ago, Vandana received Vishesha Diksha, the second of two dikshas that Saiva Siddhanta Church sishyas prepare for. Below is the description from Gurudeva's 1995 Saiva Dharma Shastras book, slightly updated for the current context.
Vishesha diksha,"distinguishing" initiation, marks the sishya's formal entrance into the Sri Subramuniya Rishi Gotra, our lineage's select assembly of followers, affectionately known as chelas. After this initiation, the devotee is obligated to personally, daily perform the Saiva Atmartha Puja, which now has new power. This worship is performed during the early morning, followed by scriptural study and 108 repetitions of the Panchakshara Mantra. The puja obligation of vishesha diksha is not fulfilled by attending the puja performed by the head of the house in the shrine room. Each member who has received this initiation performs the puja privately (the long, medium or short version) and then attends the family puja as well. Vishesha diksha is also the empowering to perform yoga, to worship internally and undertake serious austerities. This diksha opens access into inner realms heretofore not accessible. As part of the diksha, the sishya voices and signs the following solemn vow binding herself and her family line to the Sri Subramuniya Rishi Gotra. Vishesha diksha brings the devotee more deeply into the study of Shum, my magical language of meditation, through the Shum Tyaef Lexicon.
Vishesha Diksha Vrata
"Prostrations to the holy feet of Lord Ganesha! Aum Sivaya! I pledge my loyalties to the Saiva Swami Sangam of Saiva Siddhanta Church, to the monistic Saiva Siddhanta theology of Rishi Tirumular and, most importantly, to the holy feet of my satguru in this life, Bodhinatha Veylanswami, as I enter the Sri Subramuniya Rishi Gotra. In doing so, I rededicate myself to the Santana Dharma and now bind myself to the congregation of devotees of Saiva Siddhanta Church, those who uphold the Saiva Dharma--Dancing with Siva: Hinduism's Contemporary Catechism and the Creed for Saivite Hindus--and seek to remold the Saiva karma by doing penance for the entire Saivite world as it moves from an agricultural into a technological era and on into a new age of space. As I sit before Guru Mahasannidhanam and the Saiva swamis and the gotra of devotees, I bow before the holy feet of Lord Nataraja, pledging my allegiance as a soldier of the within and a silent minister, emissary of duty to be well performed. I have enjoined my three bodies--soul, mental and physical--to propel new members into our fellowship and make them comfortable in our congregation. May Lord Ganesha bless me, may Lord Murugan bless me, may Lord Siva bless me. May Satguru bless me in this and from inner worlds as I join for all time as a Sivathondar the great congregation of Saiva Siddhanta Church and irrevocably blend my karma with its dharma. Anbe Sivamayam Satyame Parasivam." -------------------------
After the diksha, Kavish and Kapil read and signed pledges to perform the "Ten-Minute Spiritual Workout" and follow the yamas and niyamas to the best of their ability.
The eldest son, Tarun, will be staying on to serve with the monks for five or six months before embarking on university studies.
Recently our monks celebrated the monthly Chitra nakshatra with the usual padapuja to Gurudeva's shrine in Kadavul Temple. This month, Sannyasin Tillainathaswami and Nirvani Tejadevanatha performed the ceremony.
"Peace is the natural state of the mind. It is there, inside, to be discovered in meditation, maintained through self-control, and then radiated out to others." - Gurudeva
Today we celebrated the Chitra nakshatra with an early morning padapuja for Gurudeva. The monastics and local devotees gathered in Kadavul Temple for the silent puja performed by Yogi Dayanatha and Yogi Haranandinatha.
"Love is the source of understanding. You know intellectually that within you resides the potential, expressed or not, for all human emotion, thought and action. Yet, you no doubt meet or observe people occasionally whose life and actions are repellent or unacceptable to you. The absence of love has created a vacuum of understanding. For the meditating person, there should not be a single human being whose actions, habits, opinions or conduct lies beyond your ability to love and understand." Gurudeva
Today we celebrate the 288th monthly Chitra padapuja for Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. Satguru, his monastics and our local members joined in Kadavul Temple for an hour long honoring of Gurudeva.
"Then there is the joy of the mysticism of Hinduism. It is the world's most magical religion, offering worlds within worlds of esoteric discovery and perception. The inner worlds are what Hindu mystics tell of in the greatest richness and freedom of expression that exists on the planet. Mysticism in Hinduism is more out-front than in all the other religions of the world. As a result, it is enjoyed by more of the people in our religion. Mysticism is discussed more broadly and not limited to a few great souls or a handful of pandits.The mysticism of Hinduism is for all the people; yet, too, in its esoteric aspect it is protected at its core and kept sacred by being kept secret. How grand is the Hindu mystical tradition, with its sadhanas and yogas, with its wealth of understanding of the etheric bodies, of the nadis and the chakras, of the aura and the pranas, of the various states of consciousness and levels of existence, and so much more. No other religion on the Earth can ever begin to equal Hinduism's mystical teachings; all that wealth is the rightful inheritance of each Hindu."
In the late 1990s when Gurudeva was meeting with the island leaders each month, one of his themes was that all islanders are Kauaians. Up til then no one used the word, but they listened as he shared that all the people in California identify as Californians. Whether they are latino, asian, black or mixed, they share an identity as Californians. So too, he went on, whether our residents are Chinese, Portuguese, haoli or Japanese, we are all Kauaians. "By thinking and speaking thus, we bring the separate communities together," he would stress. And so began a movement in the media and in government, to use the word "Kauaian." To drive the idea home, and to share it with islanders not at these meetings (and with visitors as well), Gurudeva had the monks make six rose granite signs, carved at our workshop in Bengaluru. The 2' by 6' polished signs were shipped to the island and leaders helped find volunteers to install them at strategic points from the north to the south.
Recently they were showing some wear and tear, so the monks hired a team to renovate them. You can see before and after shots in the slideshow. All part of keeping Gurudeva's legacy alive.
"All things in life must be centered around religion. Only the spiritual matters of life live on. Everything else in life is destined to perish. This body will perish. This personality will perish. But our religion will live on and grow inside of us as we evolve from life to life. It is the duty of each Hindu, young or old, to help the religion progress from generation to generation. We help Hinduism live on by serving and guiding others. For true and lasting happiness, religion must be the basis of everything in life, around which all other interests and desires revolve. So many people are against religion these days. It is up to religious people to make it popular again."
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.