Bodhinatha’s Latest Upadesha
Path to Siva Commentaries
“Harmony is a fragile vibration which the family protects.” Gurudeva expressed how deeply integral the Tirukural was to his teachings. It is not enough to take care of immediate family members, you need to reach out to others. Increase and master self-control through facing greater challenges, being steadfast in domestic life.
Path to Siva, Lesson 51
Click here to go to an index of all of Bodhinatha’s and Gurudeva’s online audio.
The darshan bellowed into Kadavul Temple this morning as Ganesha Chaturthi comes closer. Chitra nakshatra means Chitra puja to our Gurudeva. Yogi Rajanatha and Natyam Dayanatha perform today's ceremony.
Slideshow quotes are from Gurudeva's Cognazantability in Merging with Siva, and ends with a few quotes from Merging with Siva's "Death of the Ego."
Today marks the beginning of the Jivana Ritau, the rainy season from from mid-August to mid-December. The morning began with a Siva homa in Kadavul temple, followed by a parade out to the flag pole to change the dvaja for the coming season. Afterwards, monks and devotees paraded out to Iraivan Temple for a short arati. Aum Namah Sivaya.
"The key word of this season is work. The colors are rust, copper-maroon and all shades of red rust for earthy preservation, copper-maroon for fulfillment and red for physical energy. The Aadheenams 60-foot flag pole flies the rust-colored dhvaja, symbolizing environmental care. Copper-maroon and all shades of red adorn our smaller flags. This is the season of honoring and showing appreciation for those in the vanaprastha ashrama, life's elder advisor stage.
"The focus is on preserving what has been created, manifesting goals and fulfilling plans made in the past. Inwardly the emphasis is on direct cognition and caring for the practical details of the external world. Practicality is a word much used this season. In the monasteries and the missions, there is a big push on studying the sutras of Living with Siva and the Saiva Dharma Shastras. The format of the mission satsanga changes into one that in fact helps everyone live and breathe with Lord Siva through personal adjustment to the aphorisms of Living with Siva, which define tradition, culture and protocol.
"It is a time of building and repairing and caring for what has been built, planted or created in any realm of life. It is a physical time, of exercise and exertion in the Bhuloka, a magnetic time for action and willpower, of finishing all jobs started since the first ritau. On the farm, there is harvesting of the lands fruits as we celebrate abundance."
Right now the island of Kauai is getting blessings from the sky with a constant light rain that persists just enough to remind you it's wet outside. The monks are ending their phase is a quiet way and getting ready to work on various projects during their two day retreat. Some will harvest noni or carve away at tropical woods; some monks will study scripture late into the night. Satguru will go on his long contemplative walks while others will bake, stir-fry or griddle their way to a savory seva--we get our happiness by making others happy. I foresee an early morning bike ride, web work, app building, astrology reading, budget maintenance and many many other tasks these next few days.
The Deity remains throughout it all, Jiva really is Siva. Our monistic theist-Saiva Siddhanta is unparalleled theology that harnesses the power of creation right into the very heart of your being. While Siva remains detached from the tattvas, the bhogas and all karmic manifestations, He/She remains an ever-grounded part of the whole. From Parashiva, mysteriously to Parashakti and into you and your experience as Parameshwara.
Through sadhanas such as temple worship, yogic meditation and scriptural study, we reign-in the mind's thirst for the gunas and evolve into higher consciousness. The monks are here to root you on as you struggle through the perfect chaos of Parashakti and find your way back to the all-encompassing perfect order of Parashiva.
Love, light and upliftment is our creed. Sacrifice, responsibility and trust is our dharma. The Nandinatha Sampradaya is our lineage, family and history. God Siva is immanent love and transcendent reality. That means Parashakti and Parashiva, that means you, that means me, and that means everything is undoubtedly a perfect one being. Aum.
A photo of the Siddhidatta Kulam (minus the photographer). This was Jayendra Mardemootoo's last day with the kulam while on his pilgrimage to Kauai. Our thanks to him for his selfless service while visiting the Aadheenam!
In our monastic order, a monk can only take lifetime vows once they become a sannyasin. Until then they are under short term vows that must be renewed every two years on the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima. Today our postulants all gathered in the Guru Temple to renew their four vows of humility, purity, obedience and confidence. Below our the introductions to each vow.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas
Path to Siva Commentaries
How Do We Meditate, Part 1
"Meditation is a long journey, a pilgrimage into the mind itself." In Gurudeva's approach we start meditation with the physical body then get more and more subtle, withdrawing energy into the spine then not utilizing mental activity. Everything we meditate on is actual experience, not something the mind has created. We experience something that's always there, awareness aware of itself. Gurudeva's mystical Natha Language of Shum. Awareness is the witness consciousness of the soul, 'niif.' In the nature of our form of meditation there is a continuity (nalif) from one day to the next.
Path to Siva, Lesson 47.
Click here to go to an index of all of Bodhinatha's and Gurudeva's online audio.
A compilation video of our Innersearch 2018 Sri Lanka travel-study program. Fifty-nine participants traveled with Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and five of his monks to Colombo, Habarana and Jaffna. They had classes with Satguru, went on adventuresome outings, worshiped at powerful temple, and visited holy shrines related to the Kailasa lineage.
A similar program will be held in March of 2019. If you're considering attending you can go here to sign up: Innersearch 2019 Application
What Are the Two Paths? Path to Siva, Lesson 37 (Jan 4, 2018)
Bodhinatha addresses the misconception that householders should be detached from their family and professional life. Using the Tirukural as a reference, he highlights that detachment for the householder means to be detached from one's wealth and possessions enough to be able to do charity. Then he describes key goals of monastic life and the service done by our monastic order, pointing out that the path of spiritual unfoldment, like an oak tree, takes many years to yield results. But we should have faith that the ancient methods and path will one day yield results.
Path To Siva, Lesson 37
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.