Class with Our Satguru

The Yogis and Natyam enjoyed several classes with their guruji these past few weeks, the subject being the Siva Sutras.

The Guru Chronicles explains:

The yogis around Maharishi Nandinatha were well versed in the Siva Sutras, whose aphorisms were regarded as the voice of Siva Himself--a puzzling, mathematically sophisticated set of fourteen aphorisms that seem to be about the Sanskrit alphabet, but on deeper reflection are a key to understanding the composition of the cosmos, showing how this language creates a mystical connection to the Divine from its very roots.

The early tantric traditions, from Kashmir Saivism to Saiva Siddhanta, share a love of the Siva Sutras, those obscure, arcane, mysterious verses that yogis study even in the 21st century to delve into the mystical apprehension of the universes, gross and subtle.

These fourteen sutras--revealed to Panini, who wrote them down as a kind of yogic science notebook for its time--emanated from the drum held in the raised right hand of Lord Siva Nataraja. This science of sound and words remained a secret to most, for only the illumined could comprehend it, being unspoken knowledge directly from the Supreme Lord and beyond the reach of the ordinary mind.

Sages like Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanatkumara, Patanjali and others were able to hear the transcendental sounds of Siva's drum but were unable to grasp the inner, core meaning of the aphorisms. Legend says they approached Maharishi Nandinatha seeking an explanation. Moved by the sincerity of their search for this rare knowledge, the satguru proceeded to elucidate the essence of the sutras. He offered 27 verses, which are the only written teachings of this primal preceptor that have survived the tides of time, and thus form the oldest scriptural text from this Saiva Siddhanta lineage. Terse and wise, it is known as the Nandikesha Kashika. Kashika means "the illuminator."

It is said that Sri Nandikeshvara, as Maharishi Nandinatha is also known, accomplished the feat of explaining the inexplicable due to two things: his profound God Realizations, which gave him a oneness with Siva within, and the completion of a difficult, some would say impossible, austerity, that of reciting the epic chant Sri Rudram ten million times. Nandinatha's Kashika is more a meditation than an explanation, a contemplation on thirty-six constituents of the universe, from the most subtle to the very earth on which we stand--Lord Siva's unfoldment of the cosmos through sound, specific sounds that are embedded forever in the letters of the Sanskrit language. These constituents, or tattvas, are at the heart of the cosmology of Saiva Siddhanta, for in them can be found every level of consciousness, every element, every sense and color, every energy, vibration and sound that exists. Saiva Siddhanta speaks of 36 tattvas in all. Knowing the tattvas, one knows all.

The ancient texts are dense, convoluted and opaque, for in those days the secrets of yoga and inner consciousness were thought too precious to be openly expressed. So they were concealed in a special kind of language, like a cryptogram, assuring that only those who were qualified would have access; others would be confounded. Indeed, reading these texts today is confounding, as this glimpse into the far past, into the heart of the progenitors of yoga, the Himalayan masters, proves.

Without the insights and commentary of knowers of God and Sanskrit pandits of the highest order, even these aphorisms, composed to elucidate the even more arcane fourteen Siva Sutras, may defy understanding.

Rainy Days

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.

Why Are We Vegetarian? What About the Environment?

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami

Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas
Path to Siva Commentaries

Why Are We Vegetarian?

Vegetarianism: Man's natural and noble diet with a minimum of hurt to other beings. The object of nutrition for meditation and for help on the spiritual path is to practice mitahara--eating a moderate quantity of quality clean fresh vegetarian food. Four types of food: fresh, dead, clean and dirty. "Siva's devotees know that a good diet is the best medicine. They drink two liters of water daily, minimize fried foods and avoid junk foods, white rice, white flour, processed sugar and degraded oils."



How Do We Treat the Environment?

"The Divine is present everywhere and in all things. All Hindus feel they are guests on the planet with responsibilities to nature." Hindu prayers don't stop with people. Caring for the elements is found right in our various prayers going back all the way to the Vedas. We all can do something to help the environment. For it to be a huge impact the whole society has to move in the same direction."


Click here to go to an index of all of Bodhinatha's and Gurudeva's online audio.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 8:51 pm and is filed under Bodhinatha, Theology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Why Do We Practice Ahimsa? Bodhinatha Commentary on Path to Siva

Satguru Bodhinathan Veylanswami

Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas
Path to Siva Commentaries

Why Do We Practice Ahimsa?

"Ahimsa is called the mahavrata, the great vow." Not harming others, is three-fold: thought, word and deed. Because you see God in everyone you would not want to hurt anyone. And there is the law of karma: Everything that happens to us, positive or negative, we attract due to past action. Use proper channels when harmed; never retaliate. Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Tirukural, Gurudeva's teachings all give examples of how to avoid harming others. T-H-I-N-K.

Path to Siva, Lesson 48.


Click here to go to an index of all of Bodhinatha's and Gurudeva's online audio.

How Do We Meditate, Part 2

Bodhinatha Meditating

Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas
Path to Siva Commentaries

How Do We Meditate, Part 2

"Adjust yourself to the realization that you are a divine being, a self-effulgent, radiant being of light."

Jyoti is the Sanskrit word for inner light. To bestow on devotees terms that were more specific, Gurudeva developed the Shum Language of Meditation. In Shum the word for the light that lights up the mind is balikana. During Shum meditation there is an indrawing of forces to realize balikana, a moon-like glow, leading to iftye a deeper kind of inner light which, in turn, leads to milinaka, a sustained iftye which doesn't go away and can be sustained after we've finished our meditation.

Path to Siva, Lesson 47

Twelve Shum Meditations


Click here to go to an index of all of Bodhinatha's and Gurudeva's online audio.

How Do We Meditate, Part 1

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.

Path to Siva Commentary, What Is Meditation?

Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas

What Is Meditation? Path to Siva Commentary, Lesson 46

Meditation is the study of awareness, of yourself and of the universe, experiencing the soul. The purpose of meditation is to separate awareness from what it is aware of, to separate awareness from consciousness. You will be able to live in the eternal now. Utilize the shumif perspective and acquire the tools to flow awareness from one state of consciousness to another.

Path to Siva, Lesson 46

Master Course Trilogy, Merging with Siva, Lesson 34.

Shumif Perspective: "One of four perspectives, the meditative viewpoint of being awareness flowing from one area of the inner mind to another, the mind itself being stationary. In Saiva Siddhanta, it includes the deeper meditative practices. It is an advaitic or monistic viewpoint."


Click here to go to an index of all of Bodhinatha's and Gurudeva's online audio.

Path to Siva Commentary, What Is Japa?

Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas

What Is Japa? Path to Siva Commentary, Lesson 45

Japa links Siddhanta with Vedanta, being a monist and a theist at the same time. Quieting the mind, Aum Saravanabhava. Repetition of the Panchakshara Mantra, Aum Namah Sivaya "...connects you with millions of Siva's devotees." Distinguish between intellectual learning and actual experience or realization. Two syllable mantra-Si Va. What is the difference between reality as himself and himself as reality?

Master Course Trilogy, Merging with Siva, Lesson 155.

Master Course Trilogy, Living with Siva, Lesson 109. C.R. Self and Samadhi,

Chapter 3: Merging into the Self God.


Click here to go to an index of all of Bodhinatha's and Gurudeva's online audio.

Path to Siva: What Is Yoga?

Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas

What is Yoga, Path to Siva Commentary, Lesson 44

Gurudeva stresses the importance of cultivating devotion to Siva incorporating the yamas and the niyamas, performing atmartha puja. Through meditation and devotion, step outside of ahamkara (ego). Sit without moving and breathe. You are awareness. You have the power to move into that state of consciousness where peace and bliss always exist.

Path to Siva, Lesson 44.

Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.

Yoga's Forgotten Foundation.


Click here to go to an index of all of Bodhinatha's and Gurudeva's online audio.

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