Innersearch Sri Lanka is almost underway. The staff departed the monastery for a 27-hour transit to their final destination.
The first on the ground planning meeting with head ground coordinator Rishi Thondunatha.
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
A recently taken 360 video for our upcoming kauai Aadheenam Virtual Tour. Click the gear and select a high quality. Click and drag to look around. If you’re viewing this on a device, click the youtube video title to view on Youtube, in order to see in full immersive 360.
The daily abhishekam of Lord Murugan, our Lord Kartikeya, has been a joy for one of our senior swamis Muruganathaswami; a daily vigil he has done for years. Without fail our vigil system in Kadavul temple goes on from light to dark and dark to light over and over again. The 6am Murugan abhishekam happens daily and there is never a day when He is not cared for, worshiped and revered. For this seva He has beamed shakti back to us, and on auspicious festivals in His name we can feel His intoxicating darshan overcome us. This uniquely Hindu experience is a reminder to us all that the Gods are in the inner worlds, they are real and they are waiting for us to open up and hear them roar.
"Lord Kartikeya, 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.
"Lord Kartikeya 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 Kartikeya, God of will, direct cognition and the purest, child-like divine love, propels us onward on the righteous way through religion, Hid FAther's law. Majestically seated on the manipura charka, 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 Karikeya, 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."
"Lord Shanmugam, the six-faced, twelve-armed son of Siva, wields many weapons, as He battles the forces of darkness to end wars, large and small. He rides the noble peacock, Mayil, which represents effulgent beauty and religion in its fullest glory."
Quoted excerpt is from Dancing with Siva, our catechism for the Saiva Hindu tradition.
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Handling Life's Experiences: A Talk by Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami
click below to play
Transcript: When I was looking at TAKA recently it threw up a quote from Gurudeva on experience which I'll read in just a minute. But first the verse in, a verse in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras which also references experience.
"What is experienced has the character of brightness, activity, and inertia. It is embodied in the elements and the sense organs. Its purpose is to provide both experience and liberation."
Well brightness, brightness, activity and inertia are the three gunas. The three states of matter: sattvic, rajasic, tamasic. And the dual nature of the world: experience and liberation. The idea being: Each soul needs a certain amount of experience in the world before it is ready to transcend the world through achieving liberation.
I'm sure you experience that all the time; if you try and talk to someone about spirituality and they're not interested. They're interested in more experience, right? You just can't ripen the fruit before it's ripe. You know it has to ripen itself through experience.
So, experience is needed in the world before we become interested in achieving liberation. We're not immediately interested in it.
Well the quote from Gurudeva was: "What do we mean when we say there is no good and no bad, only experience? We mean that in the highest sense, there is no good and bad karma; there is self-created experience that presents opportunities for spiritual advancement. If we can't draw lessons from the karma, then we resist it or resent it, lashing out with mental, emotional or physical force. The original substance of that karma is spent and no longer exists, but our current reaction creates a new condition of harsh karma to face in the future. (Then that beautiful line that I use in my Karma Management.) As long as we react to karma, we must repeat it. That is the law."
How many times do we want to repeat the same karma particularly if it is unpleasant. Even the pleasant ones we get bored of eventually, right? But the unpleasant ones, why would we want to repeat it? But it is human nature to react and to try and blame someone else, as you know. When things go right we're willing to take the credit but when things go wrong it's someone else's fault. Never our self-created karma. That's human nature. We don't want to admit that we created this somehow. That's what we did in the past.
That reminded me of "Life the Great Experience" chapter. So I took a quote from that:
"If you check back through the pages recording various periods of your life, you will observe that knowing grew from certain experiences which you held memory of in your subconscious mind. You can also look within yourself and observe all that you do not know that you knew. For example, start with all those things you are not sure about. You must resolve all of these things through understanding before you can clear your subconscious mind. When you have cleared your subconscious mind through understanding the lessons from the experiences you are still reacting to, you will unfold the inner sight of your clear white light and begin to live in your true being."
That's pointing out a second aspect. The first point was we don't want to react when something happens. When the negative karma comes back to us we don't want react and reach out, retaliation in some way. Or just even hold resentment against someone. That's not fully letting the karma go. This is pointing out when experiences occur we need to understand them. Different point. So, for example, say a husband and wife, they find that she's getting into this situation where they have trouble agreeing. So one thing leads to another which leads to another which leads to another, which ends them up in this situation on a regular basis. They're stuck; they're repeating it. Why? Cause there's a lack of understanding. They're not seeing the overview. But if they were able to step back enough, see the overview, there's probably something you could do at point number two to avert getting to point number three and point number four and point number five. If you could just admit, well this leads to that which leads to that which leads to that. Therefore, when we get to point two I need to do this instead of that; I need to turn left instead of turning right. You know, if we can see that and we can understand it, then what happens? We stop repeating the experience. So, we need to have insights into why these events keep re-occurring in out life.
"The yoga student must establish basic principles in his life. He must try very hard to do this. The knowledge of inter-related action and reaction is within the consciousness of man. To understand the deeper experiences of life, we must analyze them. We must ask ourselves, 'What does this experience mean? What lesson have I derived from it? Why did it happen?' We can only find answers to these questions when we have established a foundation of dharmic principles, which are the mental laws governing action and reaction."
In other words: If we're not following dharma carefully, fudging on some of the yamas, fudging on our duties to others, what happens? It causes agitation in the mind. Instead of the mind being calm, instead of our being able to have a mountain-top perspective, we're at the bottom of the mountain and we're agitated because we haven't fully followed dharma. We've been fudging in one or more ways and that agitates the mind and therefore, we can't understand our experiences.
So, that's why Gurudeva is saying here, he's saying part of this process, you know, the requirement for this process to work is we need to be fully following dharmic principles. Then we're not agitating the mind which causes us not to be able to have insights into our experiences and causes experiences to keep repeating themselves. So, there's no reason for an experience to repeat itself endlessly. And there's no reason for a mistake to be made twice if someone's observant.
That's the four steps to responding to a mistake. Remember the first one is: Getting over feeling bad. The natural reaction depending on the size of the mistake is we feel bad about ourselves. We've discouraged, start criticizing our self. And if it's a really bad mistake then we criticize ourselves a lot. Or we go into a slump. But we have to pull ourselves out of that because that's not helping us avoid the mistake again, right? The point is we shouldn't need to do it twice. Therefore, the goal is to pull ourselves out of that. And the second step is to figure out how to avoid that happening again in the future. Perhaps we've learned something now. And that new knowledge will help us. Perhaps we were just being careless and we realize we that we can't be careless in that situation cause this mistake could happen. Perhaps we have a new insight.
One way or another the goal is to be observant enough. The example I used in Karma Management was the back road here, pretty good shape now, but at that point it had lots of pukas. It's the Hawaiian term for dips in the road. And there were some pretty major ones. And you could drive along and hit all the dips and keep going that way the rest of your life, right? Everybody in the car would notice. Or, the first time it happens you could say: "Well let's see now. All those potholes are on the right side so if I drive on the left side I won't hit them." You know we can be observant. And by not being agitated we make a decision so that same mistake doesn't occur again.
Then the third point, just to remind you of the four steps in responding to a mistake is: Other people were involved, you may need to smooth over the relationship with them. You need to apologize, give them a gift, do something to smooth out the energies between you. And then, if you still feel bad about it, it probably needs a prayaschitta of some kind to get the subconscious mind feeling okay about what you did. Cause we're not supposed to feel guilty, you know. Saivism's not about feeling guilty.You feel guilty it means there's some prayaschitta. It also may mean we don't understand the instinctive, the intellectual and the superconscious nature. We're expecting ourselves just to be this superconscious being. But we also have an instinctive nature and an intellectual nature that sometimes gets out of control.
Well one last thought:
"Each experience is a classroom. When the subconscious mind has been fully reconciled to everything that has happened, when you have fully realized that everything you have gone through is nothing more and nothing less than an experience, and that each experience is really a classroom, you will receive from yourself your innerversity personal evaluation report, and it will be covered with the highest grades, denoting excellent cognition."
Malahari Ragam, Rupaka Talam
Guru Bhakti, Greatest Blessing
Mohana Ragam, Rupaka Talam
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"That which is neither conscious nor unconscious, which is invisible, impalpable, indefinable, unthinkable, unnameable, whose very essence consists of the experience of its own self, which absorbs all diversity, is tranquil and benign, without a second, which is what they call the fourth state--that is the Atman. This it is which should be known."- Atharva Veda, Mandukya Upanishad 7.VE, 723
During these few weeks of Sadhua Paksha, the monastics have been enjoying a different morning routine. Instead of their usual group Siva puja and meditation they are rising before the sun to wander through nature and perform their sadhana. Here are a few images from their wanderings.
Devotees around the world are honoring Gurudeva today. It has been 5,738 days since his Great Departure, and today was our 209th monthly honoring of that day. A devotee sent an amazing and apt video of Nallur Temple festival in Sri Lanka.
The interesting thing is that the sound track is Yogaswami's Natchintanai talking about Nallur, where he met his guru, Chellappaswami. The power of the paramparai can be seen in this short video, a power enhanced by the fact that Chellappaswami lived in the chariot house on the temple grounds for years.
It was here, too, that he shook the bars and demanded from Yogaswami, "Who do you think you are?" That question was the seed of all that Kauai's Hindu Monastery is today.
Remember, we are going to Nallur Temple in Jaffna in February, 66 of us. Jai Nandinatha Sampradaya!
See the video here
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