Kauai Innersearch Day 3, Part 1Bodhinatha begins this day's talk with a joke about monism, then reads from a Transcendental Meditation (TM) brochure on how to fix your karma by doing graha puja, or worship of the planets, elaborating on the false concept that the planets and our astrology is responsible for our karma.
This morning we had a mixture of both our practices. We had our worship, our puja and then afterwards, our meditation. In the terminology in 'Dancing with Siva', our worship is our theism, our meditation is our monism, which together creates monistic theism. Said another way, in theism God is separate from us, greater than us and we are seeking God's blessings. In monism, if we go far enough inside ourselves we find God and we are identical with God. Usually, traditions are either monistic or theistic. But we are both, we do two things.
While I was pondering that, I came up with another one. See if you can hear the difference, between a monist and a moanist. So, are you a monist or a moanist? It just came to me this morning. You cannot be both, definitely! The monist is someone who believes he is identical with God and a moanist is someone who is always complaining. So, if you are always complaining, you are definitely not thinking you are identical with God. Right? Because God is not a complainer. God doesn't feel things aren't the way they should be. God is happy with everything the way it is. Everything is always the way it should be. To be a monist, you have to stop being a moanist. Anyway, that was not on the schedule but it is always nice to start with something light.
So, if you wonder why I keep these at a distance, it is so I can read them. There is a certain range. If it gets too close, I cannot see it.
I found the brochure, the TM brochure. So we can look at that as a starter today. If any of you were not here when we talked about it, this is a Transcendental Meditation program on sponsoring a homa, called a Yagna, to fix your astrology, to appease Saturn. The term they use is 'graha'. If you are not familiar with the word graha, it means planet. The word comes up a few times, quite often it is used in the phrase, the navagrahas, the nine planets. In many temples, you will see a shrine, which has all nine planets. You see all nine planets in our banyan mandapam but we don't have them there to worship them. We have them there as a study, as a way of learning more about astrology.
We will read this to start. "How does the Maharishi Yagna Program create and influence peace? The word shanti, peace, describes the Maharishi Yagna Program. The term, 'graha shanti', refers to specific yagnas to bring individual life in tune with the natural law and create a more peaceful relationship with the grahas, the planets, the universal laws of nature which deliver the results of your past actions to you."
So, that is close to what we are saying, but not exactly. But we won't get into the nuances of how they differ slightly.
"Graha Shanti yagnas reduce negativity that is returning to you from the grahas. They undo the mistakes of the past. They maximize the grahas' positive influence and improve your destiny. Fear and tension can be transformed into peaceful and productive tendencies, enemies can become friends. Every Maharishi Yagna performance operates from the all-powerful, silent level of unity at the basis of all creation which is an eternal state of peace and invincibility. Maharishi Yagna performance stirs cosmic intelligence, a unified field of natural law to create a specific effect such as an influence of peace and happiness. The yagna pundits recite Vedic sounds, those vibrations which structure the universe to actually awaken specific qualities of natural law capable of materializing our desires."
Almost done. "How can personal Maharishi Yagna performances protect us from negativity and danger? The best protection is prevention, to avert the danger that has not yet come. It is important to be vigilant to make sure that the planetary influences coming to you are as positive and peaceful as possible, that they nourish and support your life. Planetary influences change with the cycles of time. The influence can be short or long, hidden or obvious, sudden or slowly developing. The planets continually affect you like a stream of water flowing through a pipe line. Maharishi yagnas act like water filters to purify that influence. If the water is quite polluted you need to change the filter more frequently. If you want an especially high quality of water, you must use a stronger filter. That is why Maharishi Vedic Astrology experts recommend Maharishi Yagna performances at least once a year, for every planet giving a strong influence. For the average situation, this will remove the sharp edge of danger so there is no lasting effect on your life. If great danger or strong negativity is predicted, more yagnas should be done, including special performance for specific problems. Those that desire an exceptional quality of life should repeat Maharishi Yagna performances quarterly or even monthly. However, even one Maharishi Yagna performance can begin to fulfill your desire for a secure and peaceful life."
Okay, this is a good fund-raising program. So what is wrong? As we said, the sponsoring of homas is wonderful. We certainly support the idea of sponsoring a yagna or a homa. But we support the idea for a different reason, because it is a way of worshipping God and the Gods. We support it on that basis as a form of worship. But they are taking a different approach. To understand the difference, we have an analogy. They are talking about solving problems. So, we will use the analogy of a health problem. Let us say, we have chest pains. We are in our fifties and we have chest pains. So, we go to a doctor. In fact, we go to two doctors because we are going to see a comparison. One doctor says, "Chest pains? No problem! I have got a perfect remedy. It is this pill and all you have to do is take this pill three times a day. It is an old Ayurvedic remedy and your chest pains will go away." Sounds good, right?
You go to another doctor and he says, "You have chest pains? You know why? You don't exercise, your diet is a mess. You know you are overweight. You have to change how you live. You have to change your actions. You have to change your lifestyle. Cut out all fatty foods, exercise a half an hour a day and loose twenty pounds." That is hard work!
Two approaches. One, you just take a pill and your chest pains will go away. The other is, you have to change your actions, you have to change the way you are living, what you are doing. Because, it is actually what you are doing that is creating the problem.
That is the approach we are taking. We are studying out what we are doing, what we have done in the past, what we are doing in the present and considering what we are doing in the future. We are looking at our actions in a precise way, understanding cause and effect, how what we do in the present creates what we experience in the future, how what we have done in the past creates what we experience in the present. So, we are looking at it like the second kind of doctor.
The Maharishi Yagna program is like the first kind of doctor. Just take a pill no problem. "Just do a sponsorship, just send us some money and everything will be okay. You don't even have to attend, just send us the money and we will do everything, monthly is best."
Anyway, you can see that this does not even talk about karma. It does not educate you in the principles of, well, these influence are coming, but why are they coming? It does not really let you look at that and say, " Well, they are coming because of what you have done in the past. You have acted unwisely in the past. Otherwise you would not be experiencing something negative in the present." It does not look at that but it should.
We want to follow the second way and change our diet, exercise a half hour and loose twenty pounds, which is harder to do.