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Welcome to the Jivana Ritau

Welcome to the Jivana Ritau! Why did Gurudeva give us the three ritau system? Because he liked variety, change, for everything not to just remain the same all the time. The focus of the Jivana Ritau is on putting the teachings into practice in our life, to become more cultured. Culture is refining and not expressing the crude tendencies of the instinctive mind.

Unedited Transcript:

Jivana Ritau. Welcome to the Jivana Ritau. Here we are, going to raise the flag this morning. Ready for that? We are going to stop a little early in the talk and go out to raise our flag and start the new ritau.

Why did Gurudeva gives us the ritau system? So we could have a new color? New wardrobe? If you see Gurudeva in dreams, he is probably wearing the wardrobe of the ritau. He was very conscious of the colors of the ritau in his wardrobe. I have not developed mine yet.

Of course, it was not just for the wardrobe. It was to give us a new focus. Gurudeva liked variety, he liked things to change. He didn't want the same thing to go on day after day, year after year, decade after decade in exactly the same way. He liked things to change. It is like always having the same thing for lunch. No, after a while you like a change. "It is nice but can we change it a little bit. How about a different curry?" Change is part of human nature.

The three ritaus. Nartana focuses on knowledge, Dancing with Siva, understanding things, deepening our understanding of philosophical principles, deepening our understanding of the religion. Jivana ritau focuses on living, putting those teachings into our lives, refining our actions, being more cultured. Moksha ritau focuses on inner realization, which also makes us more cultured.

To focus on being a more cultured person, Gurudeva wrote 'Living with Siva', which tries to bring everything down to earth, shall we say, in practical ways and the Sutras also, which brings it down to earth even more specifically, giving us guidelines to follow.

The whole idea of culture is to refine or not express any crude tendencies, live in a cultured way. A good example of that is, how do we eat a meal? How a person eats a meal says a lot about their nature. Do they rush into the kitchen and grab something from the fridge? While they are talking on the phone, eat dinner. Is that a meal? Some people eat like that. Do we have a prayer first? Do we make sure everybody else is served before we start eating? Those are some cultured ways in which we eat. Are we sitting down in a proper place to eat? And, so forth. So how we eat is a good reflection of if we are letting any crudeness of the instinctive nature. We all have an instinctive nature. It comes along with the physical body, free of charge. We all have an instinctive nature there to control. Simple things like how we eat is a good example of how well we are at controlling it. How refined we are, how cultured we are in our actions. Because we want to express the superconsicous, the soul nature through our actions, not the instinctive or the intellectual nature. That is one reason such emphasis is put upon Hindu youth learning skills, learning the kalas, music, dancing to become more cultured, more refined, to learn how to express ourselves in a sensitive, cultured way and not in a crude way.

Simple example which somehow went into my subconscious mind deeply is, how do we eat a banana? Have you ever thought about that? Here in the West you just peel the skin off, put the skin down and munch on the banana, right? Not with Gurudeva. Gurudeva was taught another way when he was in Sri Lanka, so if you ever did that he would correct you. It obviously went into his subconscious deeply as well. "You can't do that. You have to break the banana in half before you eat it. Otherwise, you are just eating it as an animal would eat it. You have to break it in half when you eat the banana."

Cultured way, seems like a small thing but it was important to Gurudeva. I don't think any of the monks ever eat a banana without breaking it in half. If any of you never heard the story, I am sure you will start breaking it in half right away.

One of the stories at the beginning of the 'Karma Management' talk was about the nutritionist, remember that? It is someone who has studied nutrition in school for a few years and gets an 'A' on all the tests, knows how all these foods should be combined and what produces this and what produces that. But yet when it comes to the person's own life, eats junk food three times a day. The knowledge isn't being applied to one's own life.

That is another way of looking at the Jivana ritau. It is taking the knowledge from study of 'Dancing with Siva' and this knowledge we have discovered inside our self through tools of 'Merging with Siva'. Taking that knowledge and applying it to how we live. The knowledge just in our head isn't enough, it needs to influence how we live. Just as the nutritionist's knowledge for the person's own life is useless unless it changes the person's diet. It is not enough just to understand something, we need to live it as well, in order to receive the full benefits of the knowledge.